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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


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:

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