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Publication - Statistics Publication

Scottish Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (SALSUS): Alcohol Report 2015

Published: 25 Oct 2016
Part of:
Health and social care
ISBN:
9781786525321

This report presents the alcohol findings from the 2015 wave of the Scottish Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (SALSUS).

59 page PDF

3.5MB

59 page PDF

3.5MB

Contents
Scottish Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (SALSUS): Alcohol Report 2015
5 Risk and protective factors for alcohol use

59 page PDF

3.5MB

5 Risk and protective factors for alcohol use

Family

A number of aspects of family life were associated with a greater likelihood of having drunk alcohol in the last week. These were: living with a single or step parent; low maternal knowledge of the pupil's activities; not talking to family when feeling worried; and having caring responsibilities (Figure 5.1).

Family status

Among both age groups, but particularly 13 year olds, pupils who lived with both parents were less likely to have drunk alcohol in the last week than those living with a single parent or a step parent.

Parental monitoring

All pupils were asked 'How much does your mother really know about…'

  • Who your friends are?';
  • 'How you spend your money?';
  • 'Where you are after school?';
  • 'Where you go at night?'; and
  • 'What you do in your free time?'

For each, pupils were asked whether they thought their mother knew 'a lot', 'a little' or 'nothing'. A composite score for maternal awareness was calculated. The same questions were asked to establish their father's awareness. The majority of pupils felt that their mother knew 'a lot' about them whereas fathers' knowledge was perceived as lower.

Those who thought their parents knew a below average amount about how they spend their time and money were more likely to have drunk alcohol in the last week than those who reported average or above average parental knowledge. This was true for both age groups, but was particularly evident among 13 year olds.

Family communication

Among both age groups, those that said they would be likely to talk to their family if they felt worried about something, were less likely to have drunk alcohol in the last week than those who would not.

Caring responsibilities

Among both age groups, those who had caring responsibilities were slightly more likely to have drunk alcohol in the last week than those who did not.

Figure 5.1 Proportion of pupils who drank alcohol in the last week, by family variables (2015)

Figure 5.1 Proportion of pupils who drank alcohol in the last week, by family variables (2015)

Figure 5.1 Proportion of pupils who drank alcohol in the last week, by family variables (2015)

Base: All pupils (for full base sizes please see Appendix B)

Whether pupils are allowed to drink at home

The link between drinking behaviours and whether/how often pupils were allowed to drink at home was complex.

It was common for pupils to be allowed to drink at home sometimes. Around two-thirds of both 13 year olds (66%) and 15 year olds (68%) reported that they were allowed to drink in their home 'sometimes'. However, it was much less common for pupils to be allowed to 'always' drink at home (3% of 13 year olds and 8% of 15 year olds). This has remained unchanged since 2010.

Pupils who have ever been drunk were more likely to always be allowed to drink at home. This was the case for both age groups (Figure 5.2).

Figure 5.2 Whether a pupil is allowed to drink at home, by whether a pupil has ever been drunk (2015)

Q. Do your parents/guardians allow you to drink alcohol at home?

Figure 5.2 Whether a pupil is allowed to drink at home, by whether a pupil has ever been drunk (2015)

Base: pupils who have ever been drunk, pupils who have never been drunk (for full base size information please see Appendix B)

Friends and leisure activities

Aspects of a pupil's social life were associated with having drunk alcohol in the past week. Spending a lot of unsupervised time with friends, having more money to spend and undertaking activities with low levels of supervision were all associated with having drunk alcohol in the last week (Figures 5.3 and 5.4).

Number of close friends

Among both age groups, pupils who had no close friends were more likely to have drunk alcohol in the last week compared to those who had one or more friends.

Age of friends

Those with mostly older friends, or friends of mixed ages, were more likely to report having drunk alcohol in the past week than those whose friends were younger or about the same age. This was true for both age groups.

Number of evenings per week spent out with friends

Among both age groups, the greater the number of evenings pupils spent out with friends, the greater the likelihood they had drunk alcohol in the last week. This association was particularly strong among 15 year olds. Those who went out 5+ evenings per week were nearly 4 times more likely to have drunk alcohol in the last week than those who did not go out at all.

Money

Pupils with more money of their own to spend were more likely to have drunk alcohol in the last week than those who had less.

Leisure activities

Pupils were asked how often they took part in a range of leisure time activities. Lower prevalence of drinking in the last week was associated with spending time reading books and doing a hobby. Among 13 year olds, playing a sport regularly was also associated with lower prevalence.

In contrast, hanging out in the street and going to concerts or gigs regularly were associated with higher prevalence of drinking in the last week. 13 year olds who reported that they did 'nothing', and 15 year olds who reported that they went to a friend's house on a weekly basis, were more likely to have drunk alcohol in the last week (Figure 5.4).

Figure 5.3 Proportion of pupils who drank in the last week, by friend variables (2015)

Figure 5.3 Proportion of pupils who drank in the last week, by friend variables (2015)

Base: all pupils (for full base sizes please see Appendix B)

Figure 5.4 Drinking status by weekly activities in order of strength of association (2015)

Q Here is a list of things that young people sometimes do in their free time, when they aren't at school. What about you?

Figure 5.4 Drinking status by weekly activities in order of strength of association (2015)

Base: all pupils (for full figures and base size information please see Appendix B)

School

Factors relating to a pupil's engagement with school had a strong relationship with drinking behaviour. The more engaged a pupil was with school, the less likely they were to have had an alcoholic drink recently (Figure 5.5).

Enjoying school

The more a pupil liked school, the less likely they were to have drunk alcohol in the last week. This association was strong for both age groups.

Pressure from schoolwork

At age 13, those who felt pressured by schoolwork a lot of the time were substantially more likely to have drunk alcohol in the last week than those who never felt pressured or felt pressured only sometimes.

Among 15 year olds, those that felt pressured by schoolwork a lot of the time, were also more likely to have drunk alcohol in the last week than those who felt pressured only sometimes. However, those who never felt pressured by schoolwork were also more likely to have drunk alcohol in the last week.

Exclusion from school

Pupils who had ever been excluded from secondary school were more likely to have drunk alcohol in the last week than those who had not. Among 13 year olds, those that had been excluded were three times more likely to have drunk alcohol in the last week, while 15 year olds who had been excluded were twice as likely.

Truanting from school

Truancy was strongly correlated with drinking in the last week. Among both age groups, the more frequently a pupil truanted, the more likely they were to have drunk alcohol in the week before the survey.

Post-school expectations

Among both age groups, those who expected to go to university after school were less likely to have had an alcoholic drink in the last week than those who expected to go to FE college, start an apprenticeship or go straight into work.

Figure 5.5 Proportion of pupils who drank in the last week, by school variables (2015)

Figure 5.5 Proportion of pupils who drank in the last week, by school variables (2015)

Figure 5.5 Proportion of pupils who drank in the last week, by school variables (2015)

Base: all pupils (for full base sizes please see Appendix B)

Inequalities

Inequalities related to health and wellbeing had a stronger association with drinking in the last week than those linked to area deprivation and rurality. Those who rated their general health as 'bad', those who reported a long-term illness or disability and those who had an 'abnormal' score for emotional and behavioural problems were all more likely to have drunk alcohol in the last week than those who did not (Figure 5.6).

Self-rated health

Pupils with poor self-rated health were more likely to have drunk alcohol in the last week. Among 13 year olds, those that rated their health as 'bad' were more than 4 times as likely to have drunk alcohol in the last week than those who rated it as 'good'. 15 year olds who rated their health as 'bad' were more than twice as likely as those who rated it as 'good' to have drunk alcohol in the last week.

Long-term illness or disability

Among both age groups, those that reported having a long-term illness or disability were more likely to have drunk alcohol in the last week than those who did not.

Emotional and behavioural problems

Emotional and behavioural problems are assessed through the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire ( SDQ) in SALSUS. The questionnaire contains 5 scales: emotional problems, conduct problems, hyperactivity problems, peer problems and pro-social behaviour. The SDQ score is a composite measure derived from the first 4 scales listed and provides an overall indicator of emotional and behavioural problems.

Among both age groups, pupils with poorer mental health and wellbeing (a 'borderline' or 'abnormal' score) were more likely to have drunk alcohol in the last week than those with better mental health and wellbeing (a 'normal' score).

Mental wellbeing

Mental wellbeing is assessed in SALSUS using the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale ( WEMWBS). This is a scale of 14 positively worded items, with five response categories per item. The scale is scored by summing the response to each item answered on a 1 to 5 Likert scale. The minimum scale score is 14 and the maximum is 70. The higher a respondent's score, the better their mental wellbeing.

Among both age groups, pupils with below average mental wellbeing were more likely to have drunk alcohol in the last week than those with average or above average mental wellbeing.

Area deprivation

Area-based deprivation is assessed using the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation ( SIMD). This is used to provide an indication of material disadvantage in individual pupils.

Among 13 year olds, those living in the most deprived areas ( SIMD 1 [5] ) were more likely to have drunk alcohol in the last week than those living in the least deprived areas ( SIMD 5). However, among 15 year olds, there was no relationship between drinking in the last week and area deprivation.

Rurality

There were no statistically significant differences in the proportion of pupils who drank alcohol in the last week by whether they lived in an urban or rural area [6] . However, those living in rural areas were more likely than those living in urban areas to have ever had an alcoholic drink.

Figure 5.6 Proportion of pupils who drank in the last week, by inequalities and geography (2015)

Figure 5.6 Proportion of pupils who drank in the last week, by inequalities and geography (2015)

Figure 5.6 Proportion of pupils who drank in the last week, by inequalities and geography (2015)

Base: all pupils (for full base sizes please see Appendix B)


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