The effects of binge drinking and social capital on violent victimisation: findings from Moscow
- 1Stockholm Centre on Health of Societies in Transition (SCOHOST), Södertörn University, Huddinge, Sweden
- 2Department of Global Health Policy, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
- 3Indiana University, Department of Criminal Justice, Bloomington, Indiana, USA
- Correspondence to Andrew Stickley, Stockholm Centre on Health of Societies in Transition (SCOHOST), Södertörn University, SE 141 89 Huddinge, Sweden;
- Accepted 23 August 2009
- Published Online First 12 October 2009
Background Rates of violence in Russia are among the highest in the world, and violent victimisation represents a major public health threat in the country. As yet, however, little research has been undertaken on what factors are associated with non-lethal violent victimisation in this setting. This study used data from the Moscow Health Survey 2004 to examine the effects of binge drinking and social capital on individuals' risk of non-fatal violent victimisation.
Methods A stratified random sampling strategy was used across Moscow's 125 municipal districts to collect data from 1190 individuals aged 18+ years. Respondents reported if they had been a victim of physical violence in the previous 12 months. Data were also collected on binge drinking (defined for men as consuming ≥80 g of pure alcohol, and for women≥60 g of pure alcohol, at least once per month) and social capital (frequency of interaction with relatives, friends and acquaintances).
Results Overall, 8.7% of the respondents had been a victim of violence in the past 12 months. Men who binge drink were more than twice as likely to have been a victim of non-lethal violence (OR 2.19, CI 1.23 to 3.92), while greater levels of social capital acted as a protective factor against male victimisation (OR 0.82, CI 0.69 to 0.97). Neither binge drinking nor social capital was associated with violent victimisation among women.
Conclusion Urgent public health measures are now needed to reduce excessive alcohol consumption and detrimental drinking patterns to bring down the high levels of violent victimisation in Russia.
Funding Funding for this research was provided by the Swedish Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies (project grant “Unhealthy Societies? Studies of Population Health Determinants in Russia and the New EU Member States”).
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.