Alcohol Drinking among Primary School Children in Trinidad and Tobago: Prevalence and Associated Risk Factors

Document Type : Research Articles


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

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

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


Background: Underage alcohol use is a pervasive problem with serious health, social and safety consequences.
This study was undertaken to assess alcohol use by primary school children in Trinidad and Tobago, and to identify
associated risk factors. Methods: We analysed data collected from 40 primary schools in Trinidad and Tobago by
the National Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Programme (NADAPP). The sample comprised of children aged 8
-15 years old, in standards 3, 4 and 5. Result: Out of the 2052 children, 648 (31.6%) have consumed alcohol in their
lifetime, and same proportion reported ever being drunk (31.6%). Male gender was significantly associated with lifetime
alcohol use (AOR =1.60, 95% CI= 1.25 - 2.05). Children not living with their father (AOR= 2.45, 95% CI=1.86- 3.24)
and those whose fathers have either primary or secondary education (AOR = 1.88, 95%CI=1.07 - 3.31; AOR= 1.58,
95%CI=1.12 - 2.23 respectively) were at higher risk for lifetime alcohol consumption. However, age group 8 – 11
years was significantly inversely associated with lifetime alcohol consumption (AOR= 0.67, 95% CI=0.48 - 0.94).
Conclusion: Being a male student, not living with father, and father attaining either primary or secondary education
level were significantly associated with increased likelihood for lifetime alcohol use. However, children between 8 – 11
years were less likely to consume alcohol.


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