Alcohol consumption and well-being among 25,000 Danish high school students

Anne Sofie Plum Christensen*, Veronica Pisinger, Anne Friis Krarup, Peter Dalum, Lau Caspar Thygesen, Janne Schurmann Tolstrup


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Excessive alcohol consumption among young people is an international public health concern, as alcohol is associated with a range of adverse short- and long-term consequences. Furthermore, alcohol consumption has been associated with well-being in young people, but the association depends on the chosen measure of well-being. The objective of this study was to assess how weekly alcohol consumption was associated with poor well-being (poor school enjoyment, social inclusion in school, mental well-being, life satisfaction, self-esteem, and self-efficacy, and experiencing loneliness). Cross-sectional data from the Danish National Youth Study 2019 was used (a total of 25,910 students aged 15–25 years).

For most outcomes, there was a U-shaped association between weekly alcohol consumption and poor well-being e.g. students who never drank, students who only drank occasionally, and students who drank a lot (22 units of alcohol or more a week) had higher odds of poor well-being, compared to the reference group (1-7 units a week). This was the case for measures such as low school enjoyment (only females), poor mental well-being, low life satisfaction, low self-esteem (only females) and low self-efficacy (only males). Among females, odds of low self-efficacy was higher with higher weekly alcohol consumption. Higher weekly alcohol consumption was associated with lower odds of low social inclusion in school, experiencing loneliness often, and (among males) low self-esteem.

Conclusively, well-being in general was lowest among never- , occasional- and heavy drinking students. Understanding these associations can help to decrease alcohol consumption and promote well-being among young students.
TidsskriftPreventive Medicine Reports
Antal sider8
StatusUdgivet - feb. 2023


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