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An integrative model suggested by the social ecology approaches was developed to predict 15-yearold adolescents’ alcohol use in the Pitka¨ranta district (Russia) and in eastern Finland. The data were gathered by self-administered questionnaires from ninth-grade students in ten comprehensive schools in Pitka¨ranta (n = 385) and all (n = 2098) students of the same age in 24 schools in eastern Finland. A structural equation modelling (SEM) approach was used to examine and to test whether adolescents’ social relationships with parents and teachers, depressive symptoms, and first experiments with alcohol and drunkenness predicted their alcohol use, and whether the predictor variables were similar in the two cultural contexts and between sexes. The theoretical relevance of the integrative approach was demonstrated. Different regression coefficients revealed that the selected variables were different predictors of adolescents’ alcohol use for both boys and girls in Pitka¨ranta and in eastern Finland. The results supported a mechanism whereby adolescents’ alcohol drinking was hypothesised to be shaped by a depressive response to unsuccessful social relationships with parents and school. To improve the efficacy of treatment programmes and interventions in social and health care and school settings, prevention efforts should aim to improve parents’ and teachers’ relationships with adolescents as relevant to the desired health action.
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Author(s): Ulla Kemppainen Kerttu Tossavainen Erkki Vartiainenm Pekka Puska Vladimir Pantelejev Mihail Uhanov
15-year-old adolescents, Alcohol use, Cultural differences, Structural equation modelling (SEM)