Factors Associated with Current Alcohol Consumption among High School Students in Rural Cambodia


High school students
Alcohol consumption



Alcohol consumption among adolescents has become a major public health concern in Cambodia. Alcohol consumption was ranked as the seventh leading cause of death and disability in 2016. Cambodia ranked 82nd in the world in total alcohol consumption per capita in 2018.  This study aimed to determine the prevalence of and factors associated with current alcohol consumption among high school students in rural Cambodia.


This study used secondary data from the 2013 Cambodia Global School-Based Student Health Survey (GSHS). Fifty schools representing students from grades 7–12 nationwide were sampled. A two-stage cluster sample design with probability proportional to size (PPS) was used to collect the data via a self-administered questionnaire. The weighted data analysis was conducted in STATA V16. A chi-square test was conducted to investigate the initial association between all independent variables and dependent variables (alcohol consumption). P values less than 0.05 were considered statistically significant. A multivariate logistic regression using stepwise backward elimination was performed based on probability ratios to adjust for potential confounding factors.


A total of 1,936 students in rural areas participated in the study. Overall, the prevalence of current alcohol consumption was 8.3% (12.8% among males and 4.4% among females). In the multivariate analysis and logistic regression analysis, male students (AOR = 3.70, 95% CI: 2.40-5.70), seniors in high school (AOR = 3.35, 95% CI: 1.13-9.98), parents or guardians using tobacco (AOR = 1.94, 95% CI: 1.52-2.49), friends and family influence (AOR = 16.93, 95% CI: 9.25-31.00), soft drink use (AOR=1.89, 95% CI: 1.12 – 3.20), current tobacco use (AOR= 10.03, 95% CI: 3.84 – 26.22) and illicit drug use (AOR= 4.29, 95% CI: 1.74 – 10.59) were significantly positively associated with current alcohol consumption.


There is a need for public health interventions to prevent or reduce alcohol consumption among this school's youth population, particularly among males. School health programs should provide educational messages as well as risk and protective factors for alcohol consumption.