The Social Consequences of Binge Drinking Among 24- to 32-Year-Olds in Six European Countries Academic Article uri icon


  • Data were available from general population surveys carried out in six countries in the years 2000 to 2005 under the auspices of Gender, Alcohol and Culture: An International Study (GENACIS). A total of 2089 adults aged 24-32 in the Czech Republic, Denmark, the Isle of Man, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom (UK) responded to questions about their drinking habits and social consequences directly resulting from their drinking. Survey methods varied from quota sampling with face-to-face interviewing in Spain and the UK to telephone surveys in Denmark and Sweden. Response rates varied from 50% to 72%. "Binge drinking" defined as a usual amount of more than 8 UK "units" for men and more than 6 units for women was more likely than moderate drinking to lead to social consequences, fights, or being asked to cut down on drinking. There were highly significant differences between the countries both in the percentages of "heavy" drinkers and in the adverse consequences of binge drinking. In Spain, the UK, and the Czech Republic binge drinking was more likely to lead to adverse consequences than was binge drinking in the other three countries. Male gender, low educational level, high drinking frequency, and single marital status were also significantly associated with adverse social consequences from drinking, but none of these variables explained the country differences. The presence of children had little effect.


  • Plant, Moira
  • Miller, Patrick
  • Plant, Martin
  • Gmel, Gerhard
  • Kuntsche, Sandra
  • Bergmark, With Karin
  • Bloomfield, Kim
  • Csémy, Ladislav
  • Ozenturk, Thea
  • Vidal, Antonio

publication date

  • March 2010