Binge drinking and alcohol-related behaviours amongst Pacific youth: A national survey of secondary school students

Tasileta Teevale*, Elizabeth Robinson, Shavonne Duffy, Jennifer Utter, Vili Nosa, Terryann Clark, Janie Sheridan, Shanthi Ameratunga

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Aim Previous studies show Pacific youth polarised as either non/occasional drinkers or heavy binge drinkers. The aim of this study is to describe the demographic, cultural, home & neighbourhood environments of the two types of Pacific drinkers (non-binge drinkers and binge drinkers) to develop risk and protective profiles for alcohol related behaviours. 

Methods Data were collected as part of Youth'07, a nationally representative survey of the health and well-being of New Zealand youth. 1,190 Pacific students who identified any of their ethnicities as Samoan, Cook Islands, Tongan, Niue, Tokelauan, Fijian, or Other Pacific Peoples were included. 

Results Data was available on 974 students of whom 31.6% were binge drinkers. Students who were younger and had parental Pacific language use at home were less likely to binge drink than other students. Parents' knowledge of young people's activities after school and at night time was also protective of binge drinking, while participating in sports teams or a sports club was associated with increased risk of binge drinking. 

Conclusion This study indicates the transnational nature of Pacific communities in New Zealand who bring and maintain traditional cultural practices which seem health protective. While participation in sports activities may have health benefits, our findings indicate the need for a more proactive approach on the part of policymakers and the sporting sector to address the associated risk of binge drinking. Alcohol interventions that de-normalise alcohol overconsumption are warranted for young Pacific New Zealanders.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNew Zealand Medical Journal
Issue number1352
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


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