Socio-economic status in childhood and later alcohol use: A systematic review

Wiles, N. J., Lingford-Hughes, A., Byron-Daniel, J. Z., Hickman, M., Farrell, M., Macleod, J., Haynes, J. C., Skapinakis, P., Araya, R. and Lewis, G. (2007) Socio-economic status in childhood and later alcohol use: A systematic review. Addiction, 102 (10). pp. 1546-1563. ISSN 0965-2140 Available from:

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Aim: To conduct a systematic review of longitudinal studies that examined the association between childhood socioeconomic status (SES) and alcohol use in later life. Methods: A systematic search to identify all longitudinal population-based studies that examined the association between childhood SES and later alcohol use. Results: Nineteen relevant articles were identified (eight birth cohorts and 11 papers on school-aged cohorts). There was little consistent evidence to support an association between lower childhood SES and later (mis)use of alcohol. Only a minority of studies included assessment of problem alcohol use, and in only one study was the relationship between SES and alcohol use the main research question. Conclusion: We found little robust evidence to support the assumption that childhood disadvantage is associated with later alcohol use/abuse. Given the importance of this issue in terms of policy, the lack of evidence is surprising and emphasizes the need for further research in order to inform future policies and public health messages.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:This review was commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) as part of its programme of research and innovative development projects, which it hopes will be of value to policy makers, practitioners and service users. There were two steering group meetings at which the results of the systematic review were discussed (members included Charlie Lloyd, JRF Research Manager). The facts presented and views expressed in this report, however, are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Foundation. The funders have had no role in the decision to submit this work for publication.
Uncontrolled Keywords:alcohol, alcoholism, alcohol-related disorders, review, social class, socio-economic factors
Faculty/Department:Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences > Department of Health and Social Sciences
ID Code:8200
Deposited By: Dr J. Byron-Daniel
Deposited On:12 Jul 2010 08:43
Last Modified:15 Nov 2016 20:58

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