Alcohol-related problems among adolescents and the role of a sense of coherence


Kent W. Nilsson, Centre for Clinical Research, Central Hospital Västerås, SE-721 89 Västerås, Sweden


Alcohol abuse is generally regarded as a major risk factor for antisocial problem behaviour among adolescents. On the other hand, personal coping strategies hypothetically can be seen as protective of alcohol-related behaviour problems. The aim of this study was to examine the influence of sense of coherence (SOC) on alcohol-related behavioural problems in an SOC-alcohol intoxication model. The method of study was a cross-sectional, school-based questionnaire study of 4,305, 16- and 19-year-old adolescents. We found that both a SOC and the frequency of alcohol intoxication were independently associated with alcohol-related behavioural problems. Our model shows that the combination of these two independent factors amplifies them considerably, and adolescents with a strong SOC, despite frequent intoxication, were protected to a large degree from experiencing alcohol-related problems.