Adolescent binge drinking in the West of Ireland: associated risk and protective factors

Ciara Kelly, Emmet Major, Michéal Durcan, Diarmuid O'Donovan*, Áine McNamara

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Downloads (Pure)


Alcohol is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Adolescence is when alcohol use typically begins. Harmful patterns of alcohol consumption, such as binge drinking, may emerge during adolescence and become established. This study aimed to examine potential risk and protective factors for binge drinking among15–16-year-old adolescents in the West of Ireland.

This was a cross-sectional secondary analysis of 4473 participants from the Planet Youth 2020 Survey. The outcome was ever binge drinking, defined as ever consumption of five or more drinks in a two-hour period or less. Independent variables were selected a priori following review of peer-reviewed literature and were grouped as individual, parents and family, peer group, school, leisure time and local community factors. Statistical analysis was completed using SPSS version 27. Differences in medians and means for continuous variables were examined using the Mann–Whitney U test and Independent Samples t-test respectively. Multivariable logistic regression was used to examine independent associations between potential risk and protective factors and ever binge drinking. A p-value of<0.05 was deemed statistically significant.

The prevalence of ever binge drinking was 34.1%. Self-rated ‘bad/very bad’ mental health (adjusted Odds Ratio (aOR) 1.61, 95% CI 1.26–2.06, p<0.001), current cigarette use (aOR 4.06, 95% CI 3.01–5.47, p<0.001) and current cannabis use (aOR 2.79, 95% CI 1.80–4.31, p<0.001) increased odds of ever binge drinking. Parental supervision (aOR 0.80, 95% CI 0.73–0.88, p<0.001) and negative parental reaction to adolescent drunkenness(aOR 0.51, 95% CI 0.42–0.61, p<0.001) reduced odds of ever binge drinking. Getting alcohol from parents increased odds of ever binge drinking (aOR 1.79, 95% CI 1.42–2.25, p<0.001).Adolescents with friends who drink alcohol had almost five times higher odds of ever binge drinking (aOR 4.59, 95%CI 2.65–7.94, p<0.001). Participating in team/club sports also increased odds of ever binge drinking (aOR 1.30, 95% CI1.07–1.57, p=0.008 for 1–4 times/week, aOR 1.52, 95% CI 1.07–2.16, p=0.020 for≥5 times/week).

This study identifies individual and social environment factors associated with adolescent binge drinking in the West of Ireland. This can inform intersectoral action to protect adolescents from alcohol-related harm.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1064
Number of pages12
JournalBMC Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 05 Jun 2023


  • Ethanol
  • Risk factors
  • Humans
  • Ireland - epidemiology
  • Protective Factors
  • Risk Factors
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Protective factors
  • Alcohol Drinking - epidemiology - psychology
  • Binge Drinking - epidemiology - psychology
  • Binge drinking
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Alcohol
  • Adolescent


Dive into the research topics of 'Adolescent binge drinking in the West of Ireland: associated risk and protective factors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this