Risk factors for hazardous drinking in university students from South Africa and Belgium: a cross-cultural comparison study
Background: Previous studies have associated certain risk factors with hazardous drinking in students. However, big cultur- al and geographical differences exist regarding alcohol use.
Objectives: To determine whether or not there was a difference in hazardous drinking between Belgian and South African university students and to establish the risk factors that contribute to hazardous drinking in university students (calculated using the AUDIT-C) from a developing country (South Africa) and a developed country (Belgium).
Methods: An online survey assessing hazardous drinking among university students in South Africa (University of KwaZu- lu-Natal, UKZN) and Belgium (University of Antwerp, UoA) was conducted, using the shortened version of the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT-C). Risk factors in males and females for hazardous drinking were explored using multivariate logistic regression analysis.
Results: In total, 499 students were included in the study (250 UoA and 249 UKZN students). A significant higher amount of male (94.8%) as well as female (92.4%) UoA students drank alcohol in the last year compared to the male (66.2%) and female (67.8%) UKZN students (p<0.001). Additionally, a significant higher amount of UoA students were hazardous drinkers, compared to the UKZN students (p<0.001). Multivaiate analysis showed that male UoA students were almost 6 times more likely to be hazardous drinkers than male UKZN students (OR=5.611, p=0.005). Female UoA students were more than twice as likely to be hazardous drinkers than female UKZN students (OR=2.371, p=0.016).
Conclusion: This study found a significant difference in hazardous drinking between Belgian and South African university students.
Keywords: Hazardous drinking; university students; South Africa; Belgium.
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