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Is Alcohol Consumption Associated with Poor Perceived Academic Performance? Survey of Undergraduates in Finland

Authors
  • El Ansari, Walid1, 2,
  • Salam, Abdul
  • Suominen, Sakari
  • 1 Department of Surgery, Hamad General Hospital, Doha 3050, Qatar
  • 2 College of Medicine, Qatar University, Doha 3050, Qatar
Type
Published Article
Journal
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Publisher
MDPI AG
Publication Date
Feb 20, 2020
Volume
17
Issue
4
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph17041369
PMID: 32093287
PMCID: PMC7068310
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

The relationship between academic performance and alcohol consumption among students remains inconsistent. We assessed this relationship, controlling for sociodemographic characteristics across seven faculties at the University of Turku (1177 undergraduates). An online questionnaire assessed: seven sociodemographic characteristics (age, gender, year/discipline of study, accommodation type, being in intimate relationship, parental education, and income sufficiency); two perceived academic performance (students’ subjective importance of achieving good grades and students’ appraisal of their academic performance compared to peers); and six alcohol consumption behaviors (length of time, amount consumed, frequency, heavy episodic drinking, problem drinking, and possible alcohol dependence). Simple logistic regression assessed relationships between sociodemographic and academic variables with alcohol consumption behaviors; multiple logistic regression assessed the same relationships after controlling for all other variables. Students reported long duration and large amount of drinking (46% and 50%), high frequency of drinking (41%), heavy episodic drinking (66%), problem drinking (29%), and possible alcohol dependence (9%). After controlling, gender was associated with all alcohol consumption behaviors, followed by religiosity (associated with four alcohol behaviors), living situation, marital status, age (each associated with two alcohol behaviors), and parental education and year of study (each associated with one alcohol behavior). Study discipline, income sufficiency, importance of achieving good grades, and academic performance compared to peers were not associated with any alcohol behaviors. Universities need to assess problem drinking and alcohol use disorders among students. Prevention strategies are required to reduce risk. Health promotion efforts could focus on beliefs and expectations about alcohol and target student groups at risk for more efficient and successful efforts.

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