The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

3284.0: Monday, November 11, 2002 - Board 2

Abstract #44266

An assessment of alcohol-related behaviors among high school students living on the US/Mexico border

Sarah A. McKinnon, MPH1, Sharon Thompson, MPH, PhD2, Jessica Berumen, BA2, and Kathleen M O'Rourke, PhD, MPH3. (1) Research and Forecasting, Texas Dept. of Health and Human Services, 1100 West 49th St., Austin, TX 78756, (2) Health Sciences, University of Texas at El Paso, Stanton Street, El Paso, TX 79902, (3) Biometry and Epidemiology, Medical University of South Carolina, 135 Rutledge Ave, Suite 1134, Charleston, SC 29425, 843-876-1118,

Purpose: This study examined alcohol-related behaviors among students attending high schools in El Paso, Texas. Alcohol abuse (defined as binge drinking and chronic alcohol risk) is a serious public health problem among young people in the United States, outweighing all other risk behaviors. It has been found to result in elevated rates of health, emotional, and social problems among high school students. Students living on the US-Mexico border may be at an elevated risk for alcohol-related problems due to the lower drinking age on the Mexican side. The main purpose of this study is to examine alcohol-related behaviors among high school students in El Paso in order to identify rates, trends, and attitudes influencing alcohol use and abuse. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted with over 1,000 adolescents completing a self-administered survey in their high school classrooms. Focus groups were also conducted in order to more thoroughly examine issues related to alcohol use among adolescents in El Paso. Results: Overall, 68.5% of El Paso high school students are current alcohol users. Among those, 55.1% are binge drinkers and 12.1% report chronic alcohol risk. In addition, 48.3% of current drinkers report going to Juarez in order to obtain alcohol. Conclusions: Results of this study indicate that alcohol abuse is elevated among El Paso high school students and is explained, at least partially, by their residence on the US-Mexico border.

Learning Objectives: Learning Objectives

Keywords: Alcohol Problems, Adolescent Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Alcohol and Other Drug Use among Teens: Environmental and Resilience Factors Poster Session

The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA