A multi-country study of harms to children because of others’ drinking Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE:This study aims to ascertain and compare the prevalence and correlates of alcohol-related harms to children cross-nationally. METHOD:National and regional sample surveys of randomly selected households included 7,848 carers (4,223 women) from eight countries (Australia, Chile, Ireland, Lao People's Democratic Republic [PDR], Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam). Country response rates ranged from 35% to 99%. Face-to-face or telephone surveys asking about harm from others' drinking to children ages 0-17 years were conducted, including four specific harms: that because of others' drinking in the past year children had been (a) physically hurt, (b) verbally abused, (c) exposed to domestic violence, or (d) left unsupervised. RESULTS:The prevalence of alcohol-related harms to children varied from a low of 4% in Lao PDR to 14% in Vietnam. Alcohol-related harms to children were reported by a substantial minority of families in most countries, with only Lao PDR and Nigeria reporting significantly lower levels of harm. Alcohol-related harms to children were dispersed sociodemographically and were concentrated in families with heavy drinkers. CONCLUSIONS:Family-level drinking patterns were consistently identified as correlates of harm to children because of others' drinking, whereas sociodemographic factors showed few obvious correlations.


  • Laslett, Anne
  • Rankin, Georgia
  • Waleewong, Orratai
  • Callinan, Sarah
  • Hoang, Hanh TM
  • Florenzano, Ramon
  • Hettige, Siri
  • Obot, Isidore
  • Siengsounthone, Latsamy
  • Ibanga, Akanidomo
  • Hope, Ann
  • Landberg, Jonas
  • Vu, Hanh TM
  • Thamarangsi, Thaksaphon
  • Rekve, Dag
  • Room, Robin

publication date

  • 2017