Adolescent Alcohol Use As A Public Health Problem

2065 Words Oct 16th, 2014 9 Pages
This paper hypothesizes that the outcome, adolescent alcohol use, is not only the product of multilevel influences, but also of risk factors accumulated over the individual’s life course, and presents a graphic conceptual framework in order to demonstrate this. Adolescence is defined herein as 10-19 years of age, in accordance with the WHO definition. Alcohol use is defined as the ingestion of alcohol. Adolescent alcohol use is a public health problem because of its consequences, which include car accidents, substance abuse and substance abuse disorders in adolescents and in later adulthood, and negative impacts on the brain and its development.
Structure of the Framework
The conceptual framework has two axes, representing time and levels. The “time” axis expresses the life course stages that the adolescent will travel through leading up to the time associated with the outcome. With respect to the horizontal axis, four stages are displayed: in utero, early childhood (birth to 5), middle childhood (5-10), and adolescence (10-19). Each bullet point corresponds to a risk factor, and the risk factor is listed at its point of inception and impact. For those factors with an early inception but which continue to occur in subsequent life stages, an arrow is drawn to illustrate that continued activity.
With regard to the vertical axis, levels, there are four components, or levels, which influence the adolescent individual and which are particularly relevant in the context of…
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