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Alcohol and tobacco use among youth in Monteverde, Costa Rica [poster]


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Alcohol and tobacco use among youth in Monteverde, Costa Rica poster
Abbreviated Title:
El consumo de alcohol y tabaco en los jovenes de la zona Monteverde poster
Physical Description:
Text in English
Bose, Hannah
Grams, Danielle
Vollstaedt, Joshua
Romero-Daza, Nancy
Himmelgreen, David
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Youth--Alcohol use
Jovenes--Consumo de alcohol
Youth--Drug use
Jovenes--Consumo de droga
Community Health 2011
Salud comunitaria 2011
Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Monteverde Zone
Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Zona de Monteverde


This study investigates adolescent alcohol and tobacco consumption in the Monteverde zone of Costa Rica, addressing who engages in alcohol and tobacco use, what are the motivations to consume or not consume alcohol and tobacco, what protective and risk factors are acting on Monteverde youth, and what activities are desired by Monteverde youth.
Este estudio investiga el alcohol de los adolescentes y el consumo de tabaco en la zona de Monteverde de Costa Rica, dirigiéndose a quien se involucre en el uso del alcohol y el tabaco, cuales son las motivaciones para consumir o no consumir alcohol y tabaco, cuales son los factores de riesgo y protección que están actuando en la juventud de Monteverde, y qué actividades son deseadas por los jóvenes de Monteverde.

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usfldc doi - M38-00087
usfldc handle - m38.87
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Alcohol and Tobacco Use Among Youth in Monteverde, Costa Rica Danielle Grams 1 Joshua Vollstaedt 1 Hannah Bose 2 Nancy Romero Daza 1 and David Himmelgreen 1 1 The University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, 2 Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Indiana. Abstract Adolescent alcohol and tobacco consumption has become a growing concern among citizens in the Monteverde zone of Costa Rica To best evaluate and address this concern, we sought to answer four questions : who engages in alcohol and tobacco use, what are the motivations to consume or not consume alcohol and tobacco, what protective and risk factors are acting on Monteverde youth, and what activities are desired by Monteverde youth These questions were answered through participant observations, informal conversations with community members, one on one interviews, a focus group and surveys It was found that 15 3 % of youths between 15 25 years engage in frequent alcohol use and 6 9 % of youths engage in frequent tobacco use, with the average ages of first consumption being 14 2 years and 14 9 years respectively Family and friends are the predominate factors influencing our decision to consume or not consume alcohol and tobacco Additionally, the community expresses a great concern that there is a lack of safe activities for youth in the Monteverde zone This lack of activities is perceived to be contributing to adolescent alcohol and tobacco use The results of 11 interviews and 62 surveys indicate that a park, sports/recreation center, sports teams and a movie theater are the top desired activities by Monteverde youth The results of this study can be used for further research on the topic of alcohol and tobacco use in the Monteverde zone as well as serve as a starting point for the implementation of youth centered activities Introduction References Acknowledgments Special thanks to the USF Honors College Jack McCorkle Memorial Scholarship as well as the Office of Undergraduate Research for providing travel funds for this project Additionally, thank you to El Instituto Monteverde for facility use We would also like to acknowledge Daniel Vargas, Cristina Navarro and Jenny Pea for assisting with community advising, translation, and participant recruitment Finally, we would like to acknowledge Nancy Romero Daza and David Himmelgreen for their instruction and administration of the Globalization and Community Health Field School Methods Results Phase I: Participant observation Informal conversation Phase II: Interviews (n=11) Focus Group Phase III: Surveys (n=62) Based upon informal conversations with community members, interviews and meetings with a Monteverde Community Advisor, the following research questions were formed: o Who within our population consumes alcohol and/or tobacco? o At what age does alcohol and tobacco consumption begin? o What are the reasons for consuming or not consuming alcohol and/or tobacco? o What are the risk and protective factors affecting Monteverde adolescents in relation to alcohol and tobacco consumption? Results were evaluated with SPSS statistical analysis software using chi squared tests with dichotomous values. Monteverde is a small community of about 7 000 residents located atop the Continental Divide in Northwest Costa Rica Recently, the Monteverde community identified alcohol and tobacco use among adolescents as a social and public health concern and requested that the Monteverde Institute (MVI) conduct a research investigation of this issue Based upon recommendations made by previous MVI research groups (Potts et al 2003 ; Lee et al 2004 ; de Luna et al 2001 ) the research team chose to investigate the motivations and environmental influences of youth consumption of alcohol and tobacco Studies by Blum and Ireland, stress the importance of assessing both risk and protective factors when evaluating and predicting adolescent substance abuse In this study, we evaluated risk and protective factors, as described by Arthur et al such as family support, peer influence and school/community engagement (Figure 1 ) The results of this study can be used to develop adolescent anti tobacco and anti alcohol programs that are of relevance to the Monteverde community Figure 1: Risk and protective factors influencing behavior outcomes in adolescents. Arthur, Michael, David Hawkins, John A. Pollard, Richard F. e Factors for Substance Use, Delinquency, and Other Adolescent Evaluation Review 200 2 : 575 601. Blum, Robert, and Marjorie Ireland. "Reducing Risk, Increasing Protective Factors: Findings from the Caribbean Youth Health Survey." Journal of Adolescent Health 2004: 493 500. de Luna, Melanie, Renzo Rosales, and Jennifer Avery. "Mental Health and Alcoholism." 2001. Lee, Joanne, Sandra Oh, Diana Olivia, Myriam Scally and Susan Walker. "Perceptions of Montevede Youth (14 18 years of age) Towards Pro and Anti Tobacco Advertising in Costa Rica." 2004. Potts, Stephanie, Rebecca Stepan and Kelly Yarzab "Use of and Attitudes Regarding Tobacco among Youth in the Monteverde Zone, Costa Rica." 2003. Figure 3: Participants Use of Alcohol vs. Use of Cigarettes: Participants who have never tried alcohol are significantly less likely to have tried cigarettes. Figure 5: Comfortable Speaking with Mother of Alcohol: Participants who report level of comfort speaking with his/her mother about their problems are less likely to frequently drink alcohol. What are the Reasons You Consume/Do not Consume Alcohol? Participants were asked to list the top 3 reasons why they either consume alcohol (red) or do not consume alcohol (green) The font size indicates the relative number of responses, with larger fonts having a higher response rate The top three reasons to consume alcohol are : "por diversion" (for fun), (special occasions), diversion con mis (for fun with friends) The top 3 reasons to not consume alcohol are : "es malo para la salud" (it is bad for your health), (it is dangerous), "no me llama la atencion" (it does not catch my attention) Participants cited nearly two times as many reasons why they do not consume alcohol than reasons why they do consume alcohol Figure 4: Participants Use of Alcohol vs. Peer Use of Alcohol: Participants with friends who have tried alcohol are more likely to try alcohol. o Participants: n=73 o Age Range: 12 25 years old o Male: 54.29% Female: 45.75% *Neither age nor gender influences alcohol or tobacco consumption Alcohol Consumption: o Has tried: 61.6% o Drinks frequently: 15.3% Tobacco Consumption (smoking): o Has tried: 28.8% o Smokes frequently: 6% Figure 2 : Age Distribution of Youth Who Frequently Drink : Of the participants between 12 25 15 3 % report drinking frequently Conclusions o Neither age nor gender significantly influences tobacco or alcohol consumption o Participants who have never tried a cigarette are significantly less likely to have tried alcohol (Figure 3 ) o Alcohol use is influenced by family and friends (Figure 4 and Figure 5 ) o The top 3 reasons participants chose to consume alcohol are : For fun Special occasions For fun with friends o The top 3 reasons participants chose not to consume alcohol are : It is bad for your health It is dangerous It does not catch my attention/does not interest me