Alcohol consumption (AC) has negative social and economic consequences, affects health, and can create dependence. As dependence is particularly difficult to cure, prevention is important. This study aimed to identify the frequency, quantity, occasions, reasons, type of AC, and correlation with accentuated personality traits among young adults in Romania.
Participants were 1359 young adults aged 18-30 years (average age, 22.67 years; standard deviation [SD], 3.02 years) from urban environments including the main university centers. Several questionnaires covering issues such as health risk behavior (smoking, alcohol abuse, unprotected sex, sedentary lifestyles, unhealthy eating), aggression, personality, adaptability, cohesion, and communication were administered to participants between 2013 and 2014. Pearson's chi-square tests and z-tests were used for the analyses.
Common reasons young adults first tried AC were curiosity (67.8 %), to be like peers (17.9 %), and adult influence (6.5 %). In terms of AC frequency, 72.5 % consumed alcohol only on special occasions/holidays, 19.4 % on weekends, 4.8 % three to four times per week, and 0.4 % on a daily basis. To overcome sexual/emotional inhibitions or for courage, 2.1 % of participants drank frequently and 23.5 % drank from time to time. AC most often occurred with a group of friends (62.3 %). For 9.7 % of participants, AC was a reason for poor concentration, or problems at work/school. At the time of interview, participants had consumed an average of 319.48 ml beer (SD, 1223.02 ml), 82.75 ml wine (SD, 385.39 ml) and 25.62 ml spirits (SD, 131.34 ml) in the previous week. AC was significantly higher in males (p < 0.01), and in participants aged 23-30 years (p < 0.05). AC was influenced by six accentuated personality traits: Demonstrativeness, Hyper-perseverance, Uncontrollability, Hyperthymia, Cyclothymia, and Exaltation (p < 0.01).
AC was relatively high, especially among young men, peer groups, and young adults who had problems socializing. AC also correlated with some accentuated personality traits. Therefore, public health education programs should be targeted for these categories.