Original Research

Alcohol use among high school learners in rural areas of Limpopo province

Olivia M. Maserumule, Linda Skaal, Sello L. Sithole
South African Journal of Psychiatry | Vol 25 | a1183 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajpsychiatry.v25i0.1183 | © 2019 Olivia M. Maserumule, Linda Skaal, Sello L. Sithole | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 December 2017 | Published: 17 October 2019

About the author(s)

Olivia M. Maserumule, Department of Public Health, University of Limpopo, Polokwane, South Africa
Linda Skaal, Department of Public Health, University of Limpopo, Polokwane, South Africa
Sello L. Sithole, School of Social Sciences, University of Limpopo, Polokwane, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Alcohol use is a serious public health concern among youth in South Africa and worldwide.

Aim: To determine the factors contributing to alcohol use among high school learners in the rural areas of Limpopo province.

Setting: The Greater Marble-Hall municipality, Sekhukhune district in Limpopo province.

Method: A quantitative, cross-sectional study design was conducted on 314 learners from three high schools in a rural area in Limpopo. A stratified random sampling technique was used to select learners from 11 to 25 years of age. The drinking behaviour was classified according to predetermined Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT). Data were analysed using SPSS Software v23.0.

Results: More than half of the respondents were consuming alcohol 169 (53.8%). Also, 173 (55.1%) of respondents had parents who consume alcohol and 204 (65%) had friends who drank alcohol. Most respondents were classified as low-risk drinkers (AUDIT score < 8) and a quarter of the respondents were classified as almost dependent on alcohol (AUDIT score > 13). Significant associations were found between learners’ alcohol consumption and parents and friends who drank alcohol (p = 0.000; p = 0.000, respectively).

Conclusion: Alcohol use was prevalent among high school learners in the area under investigation. Also, learners who had parents and friends who consume alcohol were more likely to consume alcohol. Further, learners who were classified as almost dependent on alcohol needed urgent intervention as their health-related quality of life was likely to be poor.


Keywords

alcohol abuse; audit; alcohol dependence; highs; rural areas; high school learners; drinking behaviour

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