OBJECTIVES: 1. To describe the habits and conduct of school students (13-17 years old) around alcohol in the Cartagena Health Area. 2. To discover the factors underlying consumption. 3. To analyse beliefs and behaviour about consumption. DESIGN: Cross-sectional descriptive study. SETTING: Health area. PARTICIPANTS: 16,657 school students. Sample population (n = 1004). Large-group sampling (sampling unit: class-room), accuracy = 3%, CI = 95%, p = q = 50%, stratified by school and geographical area. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Anonymous, self-filled questionnaire (33 open and closed questions). Selection criteria: attendance at class on the day of the questionnaire. Variables: social, economic and cultural data on parents and students, course, type of family, alcohol consumption (starting age, access, individual habits, friends and family), beliefs about consumption, study profile of consumer. Statistical analysis: description of variables, chi-squared test, t test, logistical regression. 99.2% filled in the questionnaire. Students' average age was 15.84 (SD, 1.21). 89.96% lived with their parents. 83.4% had consumed alcohol on some occasion, with no relationship to current consumption (p > 0.05). Starting age was 13.77 (SD, 1.78), 48.5% in discos/bars and 19% at home (p > 0.05). 47.5% had got drunk on some occasion (p > 0.05). 88.2% customarily drank alcohol mixed with other drinks (p > 0.05). 51.8% drank at week-ends (2.4% every day) (p > 0.05). 63.3% thought it easy to acquire drinks: 48.9% in supermarkets, 26.4% at petrol stations (p = 0.038). 71% of consumers agreed that "alcohol is a drug" (p = 0.005). 13% believed "it does not cause dependency" (p = 0.00001). 23.3% thought that it is not true to say "the person who does sport is healthier and does not take alcohol". CONCLUSIONS: The pattern of consumption is similar to that found in other autonomous communities, although in greater quantity and without differences in kind. Mean age of consumer: 15 years old. They usually drink alcohol mixed with other soft drinks, normally at week-ends. They are very ignorant of the effects of consumption.
López, J. R., Antolín, N., Barceló, M. V., Pérez, M., Ballesteros, A. M., & Garcéa, A. L. (2001). Consumo de alcohol en los escolares de un área de salud. Hábitos y creencias. Atencion Primaria / Sociedad Española de Medicina de Familia y Comunitaria, 27(3), 159–165. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0212-6567(01)78790-2