Research Article: Clusters of alcohol abstainers and drinkers incorporating motives against drinking: a random survey of 18 to 30 year olds in four cities in four different continents

Date Published: January 17, 2019

Publisher: AIMS Press

Author(s): Anne W Taylor, Bridgette M Bewick, Qing Ling, Valentina V Kirzhanova, Paulo Alterwain, Eleonora Dal Grande, Graeme Tucker, Alfred B Makanjuola.


The aim of this analysis was to identify alcohol consumption clusters for adolescents and early adults according to attitudes to drinking, motivations against drinking and perceptions associated with alcohol.

Interviews were undertaken with people aged 18–34 years old living in four cities in different regions of the world. Multistage random sampling was consistent across the four cities (Ilorin (Nigeria), Wuhan (China), Montevideo (Uruguay) and Moscow (Russia)). The questionnaire was forward and back translated into relevant languages and face-to-face interviewing undertaken. The data were weighted to the population of each city. In total 6235 structured interviews were undertaken (1391 in Ilorin, 1600 in Montevideo, 1604 in Moscow and 1640 in Wuhan). Questions regarding motivation against alcohol consumption (14 items), assessing perceptions (3 items) and attitudes to drinking in certain situations (8 items) were asked of all respondents including abstainers. Factor analysis was initially undertaken to identify highly related correlated variables.

Cluster analysis provided a variety of clusters (Ilorin (3 clusters), Montevideo (5), Moscow (4) and Wuhan (4)). At least one cluster in each city was dominated by abstainers and another by heavy episodic drinkers. Variations by city and alcohol consumption patterns existed in regards to variables included.

This analysis detailed the city specific motivations against drinking alcohol, and the attitudes towards alcohol consumption. Differences highlight the influence of country/city specific culture, customs, laws, societal norms and traditions.

Partial Text

In understanding lifelong patterns of alcohol consumption, the early formative period of late adolescent and early adulthood, commonly acknowledged as “transition to adulthood” is seen as a crucial period of life development [1]–[4]. The behaviours and patterns associated with alcohol consumption initiated during these years are important indicators for later stages of the lifespan [2],[3]. Negative social and health outcomes associated with excess alcohol consumption in these formative years include increased road accidents, violence, injuries and ramifications associated with unplanned sex. There are also the possibility of long-term alcohol problems and dependency [3].

In total, n=6235 interviews were undertaken (1391 in Ilorin, 1600 in Montevideo, 1604 in Moscow and 1640 in Wuhan). Missing and “don’t know” responses were excluded from all analyses, with the final numbers included being 1144 for Ilorin, 981 for Montevideo, 1526 for Moscow, and 1150 for Wuhan. A demographic profile of respondents for each city is presented in Supplementary The proportion having ever consumed alcohol was 33.3% (95% CI 30.9–35.9) of respondents from Ilorin, 53.4% (95% CI 51.0–55.8) for Wuhan, 86.1% (95% CI 84.3–87.7) for Moscow, and 96.4% (95% CI 95.3–97.2) for Montevideo (Table 1).

The results of this analysis from a random-population survey of 18 to 34 year olds in four distinct cities of the world highlighted the complexity associated with determining patterns of alcohol consumption in this important age group. Although results varied considerably across all four cities, some similarities between the cities in terms of alcohol consumption were apparent.




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