A Study on the Prevalence of Alcohol Consumption, Tobacco Use and Sexual Behaviour among Adolescents in Urban Areas of the Udupi District, Karnataka, India

Padma Mohanan, Subhashisa Swain, Noore Sanah, Vikram Sharma, Deboporna Ghosh

Abstract


Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of alcohol consumption, tobacco use and risky sexual behaviour among adolescents, and to evaluate the socioeconomic factors potentially influencing these behaviours. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted from January to April 2011 among 376 adolescents (15–19 years old) studying in different schools and colleges in Udupi, India. The Youth Risk Behavior Survey questionnaire and guidelines were followed for data collection. Participants’ alcohol consumption, smoking habits and sexual behaviour patterns were explored. Univariate analysis followed by multivariate logistic regression was done. Results: The prevalence of alcohol consumption, tobacco use and sexual activity was found to occur in 5.7%, 7.2% and 5.5% of participants, respectively. The mean age of the participants’ first sexual activity, consumption of alcohol and tobacco use was reported to be approximately 16.8 years. Multivariate analysis showed that males were more likely to have used alcohol and tobacco. Other factors, such as religion and tobacco use among family members, were found to be influential. Conclusion: The potential coexistence of multiple risk behaviours in a student demands an integrated approach. Emphasis should be placed on health education in schools and an increased awareness among parents in order to prevent adolescents’ behaviours from becoming a risk to their health.



Keywords


Adolescents; Risk Behaviors; Tobacco; Alcoholic Beverages; Sexual Behavior; India.

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

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