One explanation to rule them all? Identifying sub‐groups of non‐drinking Swedish ninth graders

Raninen, J., Livingston, M., Karlsson, P., Leifman, H., Guttormsson, U., Svensson, J. and Larm, P.
Journal / Publication name: 
Drug and Alcohol Review

Introduction and Aims

Researchers in a number of countries have recently identified major changes in adolescent alcohol consumption since the early 2000s, with the prevalence of teenage drinking more than halving in some countries. The major aims of the current study are to examine if there are sub‐groups among non‐drinking Swedish ninth graders and to describe how the prevalence of these groups has changed during the period 1999 to 2015.

Design and Methods

Data from five waves of the Swedish European School Survey Project on Alcohol and other Drugs study was used. The data covered 16 years and the total sample comprised 14 976 students. Latent class analysis was used to identify sub‐groups of non‐drinkers (n = 4267) based on parental approval towards drinking, parental monitoring, leisure time activities, school performance and use of other substances.


Five latent classes were found: computer gamers (8.3%), strict parents (36.5%), liberal parents (27.0%), controlling but liberal parents (16.6%) and sports (11.6%). In the non‐drinking sub‐group the strict parents group increased most between 1999 and 2015.

Discussion and Conclusions

The results imply that there is notable within‐group diversity in non‐drinking youth. Several mechanisms and explanations are thus likely to be behind the decline in drinking participation among Swedish adolescents.

Publishing year: 
Type of Document: 
Peer reviewed article/paper
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