Investigating the Role of Alcohol in Behavioural Problems at School among Secondary School Students in Barbados

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Community Health and Psychiatry, Faculty of Medical Sciences, The University of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston, Jamaica

2 School of Nursing, Faculty of medical Sciences, The University of the west Indies, Mona, Jamaica

3 School of Nursing, Faculty of Medical Sciences, The University of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston, Jamaica

4 Department of General Studies and Behavioural Sciences, University of the Commonwealth Caribbean, Kingston, Jamaica


Background: The prevalence of alcohol use is quite high in the Caribbean region, and specifically, in Barbados.
Alcohol use has been documented to negatively affect the way students behave within and outside school. This study
set out to examine the role alcohol plays in students’ behavioural problems at school. Methods: An analysis of crosssectional
data collected during the National Secondary Schools Survey was done. Mean (and standard deviation),
frequencies and percentages were computed, and differences in proportions among the groups were assessed using
Pearson’s Chi Square. Multivariate analysis using binary logistic regression was done to determine the association
between explanatory variables and outcome variables. Results: In bivariate analysis, behavioural problems at school
were significantly associated with age (p= 0.001), grade (p= 0.000), sense of belonging at school (p= 0.000), relationship
with teachers (p= 0.000), and past month alcohol use (p= 0.007). In multivariate analysis, students’ having frequent
behavioural problems at school was significantly associated with neither past year nor past month alcohol use (AOR=
1.13, 95% CI= 0.91- 1.40, AOR= 1.02, 95% CI= 0.83- 1.24 respectively). Significant inverse associations were found
between students’ behavioural problems and age (11- 14 years: AOR= 0.53, 95% CI= 0.33- 0.84; AOR= 0.51, 95%
CI= 0.32- 0.82 for models 1 and 2 respectively), and relationship with teachers (very good: AOR= 0.10, 95% CI=
0.07- 0.16; AOR= 0.13, 95% CI= 0.09- 0.20 for models 1 and 2 respectively). Conclusion: Neither past year nor past
month alcohol consumption by students was associated with frequent behavioural problems at school. Students who
were younger than 17 years, and who had a relationship with their teachers that was not very bad were significantly
less likely to engage in frequent behavioural problems.


Main Subjects