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11 January 2022 : Clinical Research  

[In Press] A Remote Questionnaire-Based Study to Compare Alcohol Use in 1030 Final-Year High School Students in Split-Dalmatia County, Croatia Before and During the National Lockdown Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Ivona Vrkić Boban1ABCDEF, Marijan Saraga12ADE

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.935567

Med Sci Monit In Press; DOI: 10.12659/MSM.935567  

Available online: 2022-01-11, In Press, Corrected Proof

Publication in the "In-Press" formula aims at speeding up the public availability of the pending manuscript while waiting for the final publication. The assigned DOI number is active and citable. The availability of the article in the Medline, PubMed and PMC databases as well as Web of Science will be obtained after the final publication according to the journal schedule

Abstract

BACKGROUND
The COVID-19 pandemic affected drinking behaviors among adolescents. This remote questionnaire-based study aimed to compare alcohol use in 1030 final-year high school students in Split-Dalmatia County (SDC), Croatia before and during the national lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
An online self-reported questionnaire survey was conducted among 1030 final-year high school students (57.96% female; mean age 17.71 years, SD=0.66) in SDC. The data were collected from June 6 to July 20, 2020 and from October 12 to December 28, 2020. Differences in drinking habits between groups were detected with the chi-squared (χ²) test and before and during the COVID-19 lockdown using the Z test.
RESULTS
Before the lockdown, 84.66% of students were consuming alcohol, most frequently with friends (78.64%) and “to feel better” (29.51%), while during the lockdown, 44.76% of them were drinking, most frequently with friends (34.37%) and due to boredom (17.48%). Drinking alone (P=0.005) and with family members (P=0.003) significantly increased during the lockdown. No difference in drinking between girls and boys was found before the lockdown, but boys were drinking more during the lockdown (P<0.001). There was no difference in drinking prevalence in different schools before the lockdown, but during the lockdown, more students from vocational schools were drinking (P<0.001) and with higher frequency (P=0.002). Among 53.98% of students during the lockdown, a reduction in frequency of drinking was found (P<0.001), most significantly on islands (P=0.05).
CONCLUSIONS
During the lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, alcohol consumption by final-year high school students in SDC significantly decreased, particularly in girls and in gymnasium/private school students.

Keywords: Adolescent; Alcohol Drinking; COVID-19

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Dinah V. Parums
Science Editor, Medical Science Monitor, International Scientific Information, Inc., Melville, NY, USA

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.935952

Med Sci Monit 2022; 28:e935952

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Med Sci Monit In Press; DOI: 10.12659/MSM.935567  

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750