Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

, Volume 43, Issue 7, pp 575–583

Alcohol use prevalence and sociodemographic correlates of alcohol use in a university student sample in Turkey

  • İnci Özgür İlhan
  • Fatma Yıldırım
  • Hatice Demirbaş
  • Yıldırım B. Doğan

DOI: 10.1007/s00127-008-0335-z

Cite this article as:
Özgür İlhan, İ., Yıldırım, F., Demirbaş, H. et al. Soc Psychiat Epidemiol (2008) 43: 575. doi:10.1007/s00127-008-0335-z



This study is a survey to determine prevalence and sociodemographic correlates of drinking problems among students from five university centres in Turkey.


Using an anonymous self-administered questionnaire and the CAGE Questionnaire for alcohol use problems, 1,720 students were surveyed.


Of the whole student sample 63.3% reported that they had ever tried drinking alcohol, and 48.5% had used alcohol in the past year. Sixty five percent of the students had been drinking once a month or more frequently. The overall prevalence of alcohol use problems according to CAGE2+ was 9.7% (19.9% among the students who used alcohol in the past year). In multivariate analysis, male students tended to have problems with alcohol about three times more than females. Living in the dormitory seemed to be protective in terms of frequent drinking, and as educational level of the parents increased, the odds of drinking at least once a month increased. Students whose mothers were illiterate or primary school graduate tended to give more positive answers to the Cut-down, Annoyed and Guilty items. The odds of giving a positive answer to the Cut-down item among those living alone was greater than the other residence groups. Predictors of positive answer to the Eye-opener item were male gender, living alone at home, and residence of the family being in a foreign country. Paternal educational level being in the illiterate/primary school category was significantly related with more positive answers to the Guilty item.


Drinking problems among university students in Turkey are more prevalent when compared with prevalence rates shown in other surveys in Turkey. Alternative ways of socialization should be provided for the university youth in order to prevent alcohol use problems in the future.


alcohol useprevalenceuniversity studentssociodemographic factorsCAGE

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • İnci Özgür İlhan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Fatma Yıldırım
    • 3
  • Hatice Demirbaş
    • 1
  • Yıldırım B. Doğan
    • 1
  1. 1.Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment UnitAnkara University Faculty of MedicineAnkaraTurkey
  2. 2.Ankara Üniversitesi, Tıp Fakültesi Psikiyatri KliniğiAnkaraTurkey
  3. 3.Dept. of Labour Economics and Industrial RelationsAnkara University Faculty of Political SciencesAnkaraTurkey