AIM: the objective was to test the hypothesis that a higher proportion of students with non-Western origin in high school classes is associated with lower and less frequent alcohol consumption among ethnic Danish students.
METHOD: data on country of origin was obtained from the Danish Civil Registration System, while information on drinking habits were derived from the Danish National Youth Study 2014. Multilevel zero-inflated binominal regression was used to assess the association between class proportion of students with non-Western origin and odds of non-drinking and mean weekly alcohol consumption, while multilevel logistic regression was used to assess the association with frequent binge drinking.
RESULTS: a higher proportion of students with non-Western origin in class was associated with higher odds of non-drinking among ethnic Danish student in the same class. For example, ethnic Danish boys in classes with more than 15% of the students of non-Western origin had 77% higher odds of being non-drinkers, compared to ethnic Danish boys in classes where 0-5% had non-Western origin (OR: 1.77, 95% CI; 1.42-2.20). Among ethnic Danish students that did consume alcohol, class proportion of students with non-Western origin was not associated with weekly alcohol consumption, while a higher proportion of students with non-Western origin in class was associated with lower odds of frequent binge drinking.
CONCLUSION: the downward drinking trend among adolescents in Western countries may be partly explained by the higher proportion of youth with non-Western origin, influencing the prevalence of drinking and frequency of binge drinking among adolescents in the ethnic majority population.