Introduction Hazardous alcohol drinking among the adolescent is of major concern. However, it is not known whether the type of social network is associated with binge drinking.
Methods We carried out a cross-sectional study among a random sample of 891 adolescents (40% male, aged 15–19 years) from public to private schools in 2009–2010 in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Information on friendship network and binge drinking were collected using two validated self-administered questionnaires: the Integrated Questionnaire for the Measurement of Social Capital (CS-IQ) and the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT). The Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) was used to assess area-level socioeconomic status. Multinomial regression analysis was used to estimate the associations between the type of most important friends and the frequency of binge drinking.
Results A total of 321 (36%) adolescents reported binge drinking. We found no differences in binge drinking by age or gender whereas adolescents in private schools, in areas of less vulnerability and higher education of mother reported more binge drinking. Adjusted for age, sex and SVI, reporting friends from school rather than from church as the most important group of friends was associated with a higher likelihood of binge drinking at least monthly (OR 3.1 95% CI 1.8 to 5.3) and at least weekly (OR 3.2 95% CI 1.4 to 7.2) when compared to never binge drinking, Lower socioeconomic status in the area was associated with lower likelihood of binge drinking.
Conclusions Social network of adolescents is related to binge drinking.
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