Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 106, Issue 2, pp e59–e65 | Cite as

Tridimensionality of alcohol use in Canada: Patterns of drinking, contexts and motivations to drink in the definition of Canadian drinking profiles according to gender

  • Marilyn FortinEmail author
  • Stéphane Moulin
  • Elyse Picard
  • Richard E. Bélanger
  • Andrée Demers
Quantitative Research



The aim of this paper is to examine whether there is an underlying multidimensional typology of drinking according to gender among a population presenting heterogeneous drinking profiles in Canada.


Latent class analysis was chosen to analyze the degree of statistical relationship among three indicators of drinking practices: patterns of drinking–i.e., frequency and quantity; contexts; and motivations to drink. Multivariate multilogistic regressions were conducted to explore the composition of each typology by age and education. Participants were selected from the Canadian GENACIS survey (Gender, Alcohol, and Culture: An International Study) and comprised 871 men and 843 women (N = 1,714) aged between 18 and 77 years and being regular alcohol drinkers (consumption at least once a month). Respondents to the GENACIS questionnaire completed questions on use, contexts and reasons to drink as well as socio-economic questions (age and education), adjusted by Canadian province of residence.


Six profiles were distinguished among men and five among women. Men and women share four drinking patterns but present distinctive characteristics of drinking. We also observed variability in the relationship according to socio-economic status and gender.


Our results confirmed the complexity and variability of drinking practices according to gender in Canada and the necessity to focus on gender and social dimensions in order to enhance our understanding of alcohol use. This study also reinforces the idea of adapting promotion strategies and interventions in public health by gender and social status in order to make them more efficient.

Key Words

Drinking profiles; typology; gender; context; motivation; social status La traduction du résumé se trouve à la fin de l’article. 



L’objectif de cette étude est d’examiner la configuration typologique multidimensionnelle de la consommation d’alcool selon le genre au sein de la population canadienne ayant des pratiques de boire hétérogènes.


L’approche d’analyse par classe latente a été choisi afin d’analyser le degré de relation statistique entre les indicateurs de consommation d’alcool, soit l’usage–c.a.d. fréquence et quantité–, les contextes et les motivations à boire. Des analyses de régressions multilogistiques ont ensuite été réalisées afin d’explorer la composition de chacune des typologies selon l’âge et l’éducation. L’échantillon de 871 hommes et 843 femmes buveurs et buveuses réguliers ayant rapporté boire au moins une fois par mois et âgés entre 18 et 77 ans (n = 1 714) provient de l’enquête GENACIS Canada (GENder, Alcohol, and Culture: an international study). Dans le questionnaire GENACIS, les répondants ont répondu à des questions d’usage d’alcool, de contextes et de raisons associées à leur usage, et rapporté certaines caractéristiques socioéconomiques (âge et éducation). Les analyses ont été ajustées selon la province de résidence.


Six profils de consommation d’alcool ont été identifiés chez les hommes et cinq chez les femmes. Hommes et femmes partagent quatres pratiques de consommation d’alcool mais présentent certaines caractéristiques distinctives associées au boire. Nous avons également observé une variabilité dans la relation entre les caractéristiques socioéconomiques et les profils selon le genre.


Nos résultats confirment la complexité et la variabilité des pratiques de boire selon le genre et la nécessité de considérer le genre et les dimensions sociales dans les analyses afin d’optimiser notre compréhension des modes d’alcoolisation au Canada. Cette étude renforce l’idée d’adapter les stratégies de promotion et d’interventions en santé publique en fonction du genre et du statut social afin de les rendre plus efficaces.

Mots Clés

profils de consommation d’alcool typologie genre contexte motivation statut social 


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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marilyn Fortin
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Stéphane Moulin
    • 3
  • Elyse Picard
    • 4
  • Richard E. Bélanger
    • 2
    • 5
  • Andrée Demers
    • 3
    • 6
  1. 1.School of PsychologyLaval UniversityQuebecCanada
  2. 2.Population Health and Optimal Health Practices Research UnitCHU de Québec Research CentreQuébecCanada
  3. 3.Department of SociologyUniversity of MontrealQuebecCanada
  4. 4.Lifestyle and Addiction Research LabConcordia UniversityQuebecCanada
  5. 5.Department of Paediatrics, Centre mère-enfant Soleil du CHU de QuébecLaval UniversityQuebecCanada
  6. 6.Public Health Research InstituteUniversity of MontrealQuebecCanada

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