Alcohol-related adverse consequences: cross-cultural variations in attribution process among young adults Academic Article uri icon


  • Social norms around what is culturally accepted in terms of alcohol consumption and drunken comportment appear important regarding the acceptance of alcohol-related adverse consequences; however, investigations often neglect to consider differences in terms of attribution. This study aims at assessing cross-cultural differences in the reporting of alcohol-related adverse consequences. It also considers differences across consequences that might explain which type of consequences (mainly acute or mainly chronic) are most affected by an attribution process.Conditional regression models were estimated based on data from eight European countries participating in the Gender, Alcohol and Culture--An International Study (GENACIS) project. Cases were matched to controls based on usual drinking patterns in order to control for average volume of alcohol and frequency of 'risky single occasion drinking' (RSOD).Differences among the patterns of associations between countries and consequences were evident. The distinction between Nordic and other European countries was persistent. A higher variability of associations was observed for some consequences, namely the mainly acute instances. Finally, the Isle of Man and Switzerland showed specific trends with associations across consequences.Reporting of alcohol-related adverse consequences seemed strongly affected by cultural norms. The latter may be exemplified by viewing drinking as 'time-out' behaviour. Respondents in countries with a stereotypical history of being 'dry' or with a stereotyped 'binge' drinking culture were more likely to attribute consequences to their alcohol consumption than people in 'wet' countries. This was particularly true for consequences that related to episodic 'time-out' heavy drinking.


  • Kuendig, H
  • Plant, MA
  • Plant, ML
  • Miller, P
  • Kuntsche, S
  • Gmel, G

publication date

  • August 1, 2008