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March 1992

Rurality and Gender: Effects on Early Adolescent Alcohol Use

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Pediatrics (Drs Kelleher, Rickert, Hardin, and Pope) and Psychiatry (Dr Kelleher), University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, and the Departments of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology (Dr Farmer), University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.

Am J Dis Child. 1992;146(3):317-322. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1992.02160150057022

• Previous studies of adolescent alcohol use have focused almost exclusively on urban and suburban youth, although alcohol is the most important drug of abuse among rural adolescents. Young adolescents, aged 11 to 14 years (N=1601), from urban, suburban, and two different rural areas (delta and highland), were surveyed about health-compromising behaviors, such as alcohol use. Significant differences in the number of adolescents using alcohol and the patterns of alcohol use were noted across areas by gender. Youths from the delta area, especially girls, reported drinking less frequently and in less abusive patterns than did adolescents from other areas, while youths from the highland area reported rates and patterns of drinking similar to those of urban adolescents. The reasons for intrarural variation in adolescent drinking are unknown.

(AJDC. 1992;146:317-322)

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