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The purpose of this study is to explore how gender and physical activity (PA)
are related to alcohol use (AU) among adolescents. A better understanding of
factors that influence AU among adolescents will facilitate the development
of preventive interventions in this population.
The sample was pulled from the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance
System (YRBSS), which used a systematic equal probability sampling of
9-12 graders. It was hypothesized that males would have higher rates of AU
than would females. PA was also hypothesized to show stronger associations
with AU among males than among females.
Consistent with our hypothesis, males were found to consume more
alcohol versus females. Though a select-few research studies have found an
association between higher levels of PA and high levels of alcohol use, the
large association we found was unexpected. Additionally, we predicted
appropriately that PA would have a greater influence on AU among males.
While prior research has determined the importance of PA in advancing
health-related outcomes, relatively few studies have examined the
relationship between PA and specific problem health behaviors among
adolescents. Therefore, identifying the factors that influence the relationship
between PA and AU is important.