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Drinking patterns among Portuguese university students: gender differences and association with self-perception of mental health

By Luísa Santos, Feliciano Veiga and Anabela Pereira

Abstract

Alcohol abuse is one of the most concerning risk behaviours in higher education. Therefore, this study aims to: characterize alcohol consumption among Portuguese university students; investigate gender differences; analyse the association between alcohol use and the perception of mental health. 174 Portuguese students completed a questionnaire about risk behaviours and rated their self-perceptions of mental health. Results show that 17.3% of the students haven’t consumed any alcohol during the last month, while, on the opposite side, 11% of those who drank, reported having binge episodes at least twice a week. Men drank significantly more often; more drinks at a time and had more risk behaviours associated with alcohol, than women. A significant, yet very weak, positive correlation was found between the amount of alcohol consumed and the self-perception of mental health. Results are debated in light of relevant literature and suggestions for prevention are discussed.This investigation was supported by a FCT scholarship (SFRH/BD30085/2006

Topics: University students, Alcohol, Mental health perception, Risk behaviours.
Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:repositorio.ul.pt:10451/5814
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