KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDE AND CONSUMPTION PATTERN OF ALCOHOL AMONG UNIVERSITY STUDENTS AT A PRIVATE UNIVERSITY IN KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA: A CROSS-SECTIONAL STUDY
Keywords:Alcohol, alcoholism, underage drinking, university student, adolescent, substance use
Elevated levels of alcohol consumption among university students have been frequently reported over the past decades and this remains a considerable public health problem. To avert the severity of hazardous drinking among university students, it is significant to identify their knowledge, attitude, and consumption pattern of alcohol for better feasible intervention strategies. A cross-sectional study was conducted among university students aged 18-30 years using the convenience sampling method. The questionnaire was self-designed and validated by a panel of experts. Data were collected between August and September 2020 and analysed by SPSS version 20. A total of 374 participants completed the questionnaire. The prevalence of alcohol use was 81% and about third quarters of them had their first drinking before the legal age. The mean score for alcohol knowledge was 16.05 (SD = 4.31). More than half of them had good knowledge (54%) and a positive attitude towards alcohol use (54.3%). 77.6% of them showed irregular drinking behaviour and only a minority (22.7%) engaged in risky behaviours, among them, the most common were emotional outbursts, vomiting, and hangovers. A significant relationship was observed between alcohol use with family and peer influence effect, ethnicity, living condition and perceived parents’ socioeconomic status. There were lacunae in the government policies whereby the legislation and enforcement policy were insufficient to regulate or restrict the accessibility of alcoholic beverages for young people under the age of 21 and lacked strategies for enabling drinkers to track their alcohol intake. The relevant parties should focus on the necessary efforts to prevent underage drinking and improve alcohol use awareness.
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