11 May 2020
This study objective was to evaluate the prevalence of alcohol use disorder (AUD) and related factors (smoking, internet addiction, social anxiety, child abuse, and bullying) among a representative sample of Lebanese adolescents, and to validate and confirm psychometric properties of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT).
A cross-sectional study, conducted between January and May 2019, enrolled 1810 adolescents aged between 14 and 17 from schools of all Lebanese districts. From the total number of schools, a proportionate number was selected in each district. AUD was defined as a high AUDIT score (≥8; score range 0–40). A principal component analysis technique to confirm the validity of the construct of the AUDIT scale score was done and a confirmatory analysis to assess the structure of the instrument was conducted. Spearman correlation was used for linear correlation between continuous variables. The Mann-Whitney test was used to compare the means of two groups, while the Kruskal-Wallis test was used to compare three groups or more. A stepwise linear regression was conducted, taking the AUDIT total score as the dependent variable and taking child abuse (psychological, sexual, physical and verbal), cigarette and waterpipe smoking dependence, bullying, social phobia, and internet addiction as independent variables.
The mean AUDIT score was 6.46 ± 8.44 and high risk of AUD was found in 507 (28.0%) adolescents [95% CI 0.259–0.301]. One factor solution of the AUDIT scale was found after running the factor analysis (α Cronbach = 0.978). Higher AUDIT scores were significantly associated with higher cigarette (Beta = 0.527; p < 0.001) and waterpipe (Beta = 0.299; p < 0.001) dependence, higher childhood sexual abuse (Beta = 0.656; p < 0.001) and neglect (Beta = 0.126; p < 0.001), higher bullying victimization (Beta = 0.236; p < 0.001).
Alcohol use disorder among Lebanese adolescents seems to be associated with several factors, such as cigarette and waterpipe dependence, parents’ divorce, higher internet addiction, bullying victimization, and childhood sexual abuse and neglect. Parents and healthcare professionals could use this data for early interventions.