Developmental alcohol trajectories when price and availability changed

Nina-Katri Gustafsson, Peter Wennberg
Purpose. To identify developmental trajectories for alcohol consumption in southern Sweden in relation to increased availability of cheaper alcohol, and to study the likelihood of belonging to one of the identified trajectory groups. An increase of total consumption was expected to be related to an increase in consumption of spirits due to the nature of the changes. Developmental patterns were assumed to be different in northern Sweden given the distance to the changes.Design. 16-80 year olds
more » ... . 16-80 year olds from general population samples from southern (n=610) and northern (n=575) Sweden were interviewed by telephone before and after changes. Alcohol use trajectories for the years 2003-2006 were identified through longitudinal cluster analysis. Characteristics of clusters – sex, age, income, price expectations, alcohol attitude, alcohol consumption, binge drinking and beverage preferences – were compared.Findings. Three developmental trajectories for consumption were identified for each region. Alcohol habits influenced the likelihood of trajectory membership as decreasers on average had a higher initial consumption. An increase in spirits consumption was also observed among overall increasers. Other potential explanations were not linked to trajectories.Research implications. Earlier research of the changes was unable to find an overall increase in consumption but these results suggests that some groups changed as expected.Originality. Few studies have identified trajectories of alcohol use in relation to policy changes. Studying patterns of change puts the focus on consumption rather than population groups.
doi:10.17045/sthlmuni.14039852.v2 fatcat:bhmo3b2tyngyrandmyn7tun2fq