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Reasons Not to Drink Alcohol among 9th Graders in Sweden

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Version 2 2023-08-29, 02:52
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journal contribution
posted on 2023-08-29, 02:52 authored by Jonas RaninenJonas Raninen, P Karlsson, J Svensson, Michael LivingstonMichael Livingston, L Sjödin, P Larm
Aim: Alcohol is one of the leading contributors to the disease burden among young people. Drinking motives are one of the strongest factors influencing drinking behaviors among youth, yet we know little about reasons for why young people do not drink. The aim of the present study is to examine reasons for not drinking in a nationally representative sample of Swedish youth. Data and methods: Data from a survey of a nationally representative sample of students in year 9 (15-16 years old) was used. Data was collected in 2017 and the total sample comprise 5549 respondents. Ten items measured reasons not to drink alcohol. Comparisons were made between drinkers and nondrinkers in endorsement of the reasons for not drinking. A multivariable logistic regression model was fitted to examine the relative importance of the different reasons. Results: That alcohol is bad for health and parents disapproval of drinking was the most commonly endorsed reasons both among drinkers and nondrinkers. The multivariable analysis showed that the strongest association with being a nondrinker was found for “Alcohol tastes horrible” (OR 2.995), “I have religious reasons for not drinking” (OR 2.775), “People who drink lose control in an unpleasant way” (OR 2.460) and “Drinking is too likely to lead to serious accidents” (OR 2.458). Discussion and conclusions: Harm avoidance and religious reasons are the most important reasons not to drink among Swedish youth. Future research should examine how different reasons predict abstinence.


J.R. was funded by the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (FORTE) grant 2017-01741. P.K was funded by the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (FORTE), grant 2019-00378. P.L. was funded by Systembolagets Research Council on Alcohol (SRA) grant 2018-0019. J.S. was funded by the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (FORTE) grant 2021-01725. M.L. was funded by an Australian National Health and Medical Research Council Career Development Fellowship (GNT1123840).


Publication Date



Substance Use and Misuse






4p. (p. 1747-1750)


Taylor & Francis



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© 2022 the author(s). This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.

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