Alcohol Consumption and Academic Performance in High School Students

Salazar MJ1*, Castellanos CE2, Enríquez HCB2, González, AP3, Carral HB2, Cabrera, MM1, López PJR1, García EA1

1Faculty of Nursing, Universidad Veracruzana, Region Orizaba, Mexico

2Faculty of Nursing, Universidad Veracruzana, Region Veracruz, Mexico

3Multidisciplinary Academic Division. Universidad Autónoma Juárez de Tabasco, Mexicoo

*Corresponding Author:
Salazar MJ
Faculty of Nursing, Universidad Veracruzana
Region Orizaba, Mexico
Tel: 2721707809
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: March 06, 2018 Accepted Date: March 21, 2018 Published Date: April 01, 2018

Citation: Salazar MJ, Castellanos CE, Enríquez HCB, González, AP, Carral HB, et al. (2018) Alcohol Consumption and Academic Performance in High School Students. Int J Drug Dev & Res 10: 32-37



Introduction: The World Health Organization noted that the intake of alcoholic beverages is a public health problem, causing great concern, because the substance is a legal drug and portal, easily accessible for different ages, adolescents and young people are the most susceptible, frequent use generates changes in behavior, social conflicts, traffic accidents, violence, physical or psychological injuries.

Objectives: to determine the link of alcohol consumption and academic performance in high school students

Methods: quantitative, descriptive, correlational, prospective, cross-sectional and cohort, applying the AUDIT Test and the MEDMAR scale to 302 students of a public high school.

Results: The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) Version 15, for Windows was used for the analysis of the information, using frequency, percentages and measures of central tendency: mean median and mode. Test of Kolmogorov Sminorv, Rho Spearman correlation. According with the Kolmogorov and Smirnov test the variables did not show normality, the Spearman test was applied This association between alcohol consumption and academic performance showed CRS: -0.076; <0.01, Family Indicator and Variables Academic Performance showed CRS: 0.367; <0.01 the Personality/ Profile Indicator CRS: 0.700; <0.01.

Conclusion and Discussion: 78.5% are drinkers without problems (women and men), 95.0% have low or poor academic performance, the intake pattern of this percentage presents greater use of the substance (22.2%), 84.1% expressed weaknesses in the Family Indicator, of these, 17.2% are alcohol users, demonstrating that ingesting intoxicating drinks hinders and block the formation of family ties. The results are opposed to different investigations relating only, the sociodemographic datas, approving the hypothesis: family, infrastructure and dynamics of the institution have a relating with the low academic performance, being these modulators of diverse contexts in which the high school student performs.


Alcohol; Performance; Students; Drugs; Consumption of alcoholic beverages


Data from the World Health Organization [1-11] point out that the consumption of alcohol in all the developing countries, it is considered a problem, causing concern, because the substance is one of the legal drugs and portals that facilitates access for different ages, being young people, the most susceptible to it, it is important to consider that the frequent use brings risks in behavior, personal problems, public and at home, which often end in: trauma, violence and premature deaths.

Currently, nobody doesn’t know that alcoholism is one of the most serious addictions, due to its economic and moral repercussions on family and society. Also It is integrated into the top 10 causes of mortality, causing heart disease, accidents, liver cirrhosis, homicides and injuries in brawls and stroke. On the other hand, the impact that the high school student can perceive and present; violence, depression, risky sexual behaviors, family isolation and in many cases, directly in school performance, It is considered as the relationship between the learning process and its tangible results in predetermined values, it is a determining topic in the field of education due to its implications in the fulfillment of the formative function of educational institutions and the students' project [12]. The consequences bedore expressed, they are of widely known by a large part of society, and for years in Mexico, we live without being able to stop it, since the programs implemented, they just identify, explore and explain the problem, without designing effective interventions that ensure its success and reduction [13]. Objectives: general: determining the relate of alcohol consumption and academic performance in high school students. Specific: Pointing out the sociodemographic characteristics of the population. Identifying factors related to alcohol consumption. Knowing the problems that students present due to alcohol consumption. Evaluating the consumption of alcohol in the studied population. Classifying academic performance. Identifying the aspects that determine the classification of academic performance.



This investigation, for Its structure, is of quantitative kind, design or framework of descriptive and correlational approach, in relation to the time of occurrence of events and information registration is prospective and transversal, according to the procedure to collect the information in a determined period, by the researcher's control of the variables in groups of individuals or units, it's cohort, detailing the alcohol consumption and academic performance in students of a public high school located in the municipality of Camerino Zeferino Mendoza, of the state of Veracruz, Mexico [2,14,15].


The study was carried out in a public high school located in the municipality of Camerino Zeferino Mendoza, Veracruz state, Mexico, with a universe of work of 591 students enrolled in the school period August 2017-July 2018, people of both sexes and diverse sociodemographic data.

Sampling: Stratified probabilistic method [2,16], applying the formula with 95% statistical significance for finite populations [17]. We got a sample of 312 people was obtained, which represent 60.93% of the total enrollment, given the selection criteria, we validate 302 instruments that were analyzed and presented.

Selection criteria

Inclusion: authorization by the high school executive staff to work with the students, who signed the informed consent, enrolled in the third and fifth semesters of the groups A, B, C, D and E, of the school period August 2017-July 2018, age, gender and indistinct religion, availability of time and that they agreed to participate, they received the orientation and explanation of the project, the day that the instrument was applied.

Exclusion: we excluded pregnant students, who were under the influence of alcohol or another drug, people with Dawn syndrome and autism.

Elimination: people who decided to leave the research, omitted or answered a question twice and those who left the instrument unfinished [18].

Measuring instrument: In its first part, It is integrated by an identification card, which explores; age, marital status, religion, sex, semester currently attending, number of siblings in the family, place they occupy among their, if they have a scholarship and the kind, in the same way, the average obtained during the previous semester. In the second section, We present a series of questions that evaluate the variable of academic performance, by the scale MEDMAR (academic performance, fourth version) [4], consists of 59 items, with answer options: 1. Totally agree, 2. Agree, 3. Disagree, 4. Completely disagree, has an analysis of reliability and statistical validity with the use of a package SPSS [19], obtaining a Cronbach's alpha of 0.862 [20] indicating an existence of internal consistency, with a minimum score of 59 and a maximum of 236.

In the last section, the variable of alcohol consumption is evaluated, we use the instrument called, “Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test” (AUDIT), it is a self-administered questionnaire, that evaluates the form of consumption during the last year, in his validation to Spanish by Rubio [3]. It consists of 10 questions, the first three refer to risk consumption, the next three explore possible symptoms of dependence, and the last four, evaluate the harmful intake, evaluates the form of consumption during the last year in his validation to Spanish by Rubio [3].

It consists of 10 questions, the first three refer to risk consumption, the next three explore possible symptoms of dependence, and the last four, evaluate the harmful intake, Its score range oscillates over 0 to 40 points. The cutting points proposed by Rosón [21] identify three subtypes of populations: drinkers without problems (from 0-7 in men and 0-5 in women), risk drinkers (8-12 men and 6-12 women), and drinker with physical-psychic problems and probable Alcohol dependence syndrome (ADS) (of 13 for both). The internal reliability with Cronbach's alpha [20], was 0.932 (IC of 95%, 0.921-0.941) [22].

Data collection

The project was authorized by the Bioethics and Research Committee of the Faculty of Nursing Orizaba, The Dr. Javier Salazar Mendoza was assigned as director and the research work was started, exposing the objective and purpose of the study. Later we proceeded to work with the authorization of the people responsible for the educational establishment using the structured interview technique and the method, a previously selected instrument, that covered the reliability criteria, validity and internal consistency, in order to evaluate the variables.

Data analysis

The statistical program was used; Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) [19], version 15 for Windows, creating a database where the instruments were captured, previous validation and revision of the filled and correct of them. Integrated by descriptive statistics; applying percentages, frequency, dispersion measures; mean, median, minimum, maximum and sum. With effect to evaluate the normality of variables, the statistical test of Kolmogorov and Smirnov was used [5], that determined to apply the Rho Spearman correlation [6].

Ethical considerations

The present study adhered to the provisions of the Regulation of the General Health Law on Research for Human Health in Mexico [23], the Second Title of the ethical aspects of research in humans was considered, chapter I, Article 13, 14, 16, 17, 20, 21, 36, 57 and 58. In addition to taking into account the Declaration of Helsinki on the ethical principles for medical research in humans [24].


Table 1 refers to the age and sex of the participants, 59.6% corresponded to the female, the rest (40.4%), male, that is, that the woman has greater opportunities for academic training at the upper secondary level than the male, because the total of people who are studying the high school is 1232 in the City of Camerino Z. Mendoza, being the most frequent (635 versus 597), according to the State Committee of Statistical Information and Geography of the State of Veracruz [25]. On the other hand, the age of the population ranges from 15 to 19 years, with an mean of 17, median and mode of 16, However, the group with the highest percentage was the 16 year old(39.4%) followed by those of 17(38.7%) and 18 (10.6%), confirming that at this stage, the teenager gets a disciplinary training for his future, it is post-compulsory and voluntary.

Age Sex
f % f %
15 years 13 4.3 12 4.0
16 years 79 26.2 40 13.2
17 years 68 22.5 49 16.2
18 years 14 4.6 18 6.0
19 years 6 2.0 3 1.0
Total 180 59.6% 122 40.4%

Table 1: Age and sex of the population.

When we relate the study variables (alcohol consumption and academic performance) in Table 2 it shows that the highest percentages, are found in no problems drinkers women (NPDW 46.7%) and men (NPDM) with 31.8%, regarding academic performance, 95.0%, is low or poor (LP), On the other hand, when analyzing the pattern of intake in those who obtained low academic performance, we observe that ir is where there are more consumption, between men and women they add up 14.2% attributing this low school performance, to the use of alcoholic beverages.

Academic performance Consumption of alcohol
f % f % f % f % f % f %
ISF 3 1.0 2 0.7 3 1.0 1 0.3 0 0 9 3.0%
LD 92 30.5 134 44.4 16 5.3 27 8.9 18 6.0 287 95.0%
GA 1 0.3 5 1.7 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 2.0%
HE 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0%
Total 96 31.8% 141 46.7% 19 6.3% 28 9.3% 18 6.0% 302 100%

Table 2: Variable alcohol consumption and academic performance.

n important aspect is that 3.0% of students have a lower academic result or school failure (ISF) and of these, which is equivalent to 100% of the ISF category, 44.4% is categorized in some of the levels of alcoholism controlled for this study. it is a situation that is attributed to this habit. However, although 78.5% of the total population is classified as a No Problem Drinker Man and No Problem Drinker Woman that does not count with a high academic performance score or in valuation, determining that there are other factors that directly impact the variable (HE).


However, in the results of Table 2 the participants still do not present an affectation in their school formation, since this phenomenon begins and the greatest impact is reflected, at the university level, where the responsibilities and decision-making must be the most appropriate so as not to hinder the professional future.

When we established a relate between alcohol consumption and the family indicator (subcomponent of the contextual variable dimension and component of academic performance) Table 3, emerges, having an inferior result (L) in 45.7% of the students, low or deficient (LP) in 38.4%, to the sum of these classificationsit is determined that 84.1%, express weakness in the relationships of the home, that is, there is a lack of communication and a poor perception of the support or motivation provided by the parents or guardians, phenomenon that has directly influenced in a negative way the academic performance of the students and altering relationships with the family.

Variable Consumption of alcohol
Family Indicator Classification NPDM NPDW RDM RDW DWP Total
f % f % f % f % f % f %
L 47 15.6 66 21.9 5 1.7 15 5.0 5 1.7 138 45.7%
LD 38 12.6 51 16.9 11 3.6 8 2.6 8 2.6 116 38.4%
GA 8 2.6 17 5.6 1 0.3 5 1.7 5 1.7 36 11.9%
H 3 1.0 7 2.3 2 0.7 0 0 0 0 12 4.0%
Total 96 31.8% 141 46.7% 19 6.3% 28 9.3% 18 6.0% 302 100%

Table 3: Variable alcohol consumption and family indicator.

It is determined to contrast with the types of alcohol consumption, showing that 5.3% are male risk drinkers, 7.6% women risk drinker, and drinker with problems (4.3%), obtaining to the sum 17.2%, being this, of great representation based on those who use the substance (21.6%), It is shown that those who drink intoxicating drinks, hinder the formation of strong and stable ties with the family. If the family members have drinking behaviors into intoxicating drinks, This can be a factor that increases the probability of drinking alcohol in the student, since, in the core of the home this behavior is allowed and learned.

On the other hand, it iexpresses that 4.0% reached a high family indicator, and inside these, there is only a risk consumption in men with 0.7%, 3.7% are participants who do not have problems with the substances(men and women) giving evidence that in them, there is a guide to prevent the intake of alcoholic beverages by the parents or a family member influencing directlyin the harmony, household relationships and minimum consumption.

Table 4 exposes the variable alcohol consumption and classification of the school indicator(subcomponent of the contextual variable dimension and component of the academic performance variable) getting a higher score in the low or poor section (LP, 73.5%), and lower or school failure (ISF, 6.3%), that means, that 79.8% is not favored with the conditions presented by the educational institution. When this component is related (School indicator) taking the results of lower or school failure and low or deficient, with the intake of alcoholic beverages, in this grouping, the results were: male risk drinker, (RDM) 5.3%, female risk drinker (RDW) 6.9%, problem drinker (DWP) 4.7%, with a total of 16.9%, understanding that not only infrastructure favors poor academic performance, alcoholism, is also one of the factors that intervene in the development of an adequate academic environment. On the other hand, of the 19.5% who have a good or acceptable school indicator (GF), 4.6% also use alcohol for different purposes, only 0.7% reached a high school indicator, which is equivalent to two individuals of the female sex who do not show any degree of alcohol consumption.

Consumption of alcohol
School Indicator NPDM NPDW RDM RDW DWP Total
f % f % f % f % f % f %
ISF 7 2.3 8 2.6 1 0.3 1 0.3 2 0.7 19 6.3%
LD 78 25.8 97 32.1 15 5.0 20 6.6 12 4.0 222 73.5%
GA 11 3.6 34 11.3 3 1.0 7 2.3 4 1.3 59 19.5%
H 0 0 2 0.7 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0.7%
Total 96 31.8% 141 46.7% 19 6.3% 28 9.2% 18 6.0% 302 100%

Table 4: Variable alcohol consumption and school indicator.

Regarding the relating of the Personality/Human Profile indicator, referring to the perception that the student has about himself in interpersonal aspects (perception of health status, behavior that usually develop when interacting with other individuals), and the consumption of alcohol, Table 5 expresses that 64.2%, is classified as low or deficient, 31.5% lower, that means, 95% of the total sample attribute that alcohol consumption is the trigger of the previous scores, confirming that 100% are qualified with a certain level of alcoholic beverages.

Consumption of alcohol
Personality Indicator / Human Profile NPDM NPDW RDM RDW DWP Total
f % f % f % f % f % f %
IF 30 9.9 44 14.6 4 1.3 11 3.6 6 2.0 95 31.5%
LD 63 20.9 87 28.8 15 5.0 17 5.6 12 4.0 194 64.2%
GA 3 1.0 9 3.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 12 4.0%
H 0 0 1 0.3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.3%
Total 96 31.8% 141 46.7% 19 6.3% 28 9.2% 18 6.0% 302 100%

Table 5: Variable alcohol consumption and personality/human profile indicator.

Proving that alcohol use disorders are more related to antisocial and dependent personality, being able to affirm that there are distinctive features linked to the intake of intoxicating beverages, which influence and can guide the development of unstable behavior and low human quality, directly obstructing social relations in those who ingest the substance. However, the abusive consumption of alcohol has not only been related to a deficit in cognitive abilities, but also to a worse academic performance, although there is a great controversy in the scientific literature when determining whether excess consumption of intoxicating beverages is a consequence, or on the contrary a cause, of low performance or high predictive power aimed at academic failure, showing its great impact on school grades compared to other contextual variables.

In view of the above and the data obtained, Table 6 which shows the School Profile indicator and the relationship with alcohol consumption, determines that in consumers; 5.6% of men have a lower score, failure, low or deficient, 6.9% women and 4.7% drinkers with problems (79.62% of users of the substance), it means, that the use of the substance is a trigger that affects, the aspects of conduct about the student life (behavior within the educational space) of the student.

Consumo de alcohol
School Profile Indicator NPDM NPDW RDM RDW DWP Total
f % f % f % f % f % f %
IF 4 1.3 0 0 1 0.3 1 0.3 1 0.3 7 2.3%
LD 61 20.2 98 32.5 16 5.3 20 6.7 14 4.7 209 69.2%
GA 31 10.3 43 14.2 2 0.7 7 2.3 3 1.0 86 28.5%
H 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0%
Total 96 31.8% 141 46.7% 19 6.3% 28 9.3% 18 6.0% 302 100%

Table 6: Variable alcohol consumption and school profile indicator.

Finally, in Table 7, a correlation of the study variables was made, using the Rho Spearman test [6], using only the population that was classified as a consumer (65 individuals) obtaining a statistical significance between both parties (ACC, APC: CRS: 0.250; <0.05) determining, in a concrete way, that despite the fact that the use of alcohol remains low in the institution, those that present a degree of intake (BRH, BRM and BCP) they are affected, generating a risk of leading the student to the adoption of unstable behaviors, low selfesteem, negative perception of the conditions in which the institution is, detachment from student life and even low self-esteem, resulting in a negative impact on academic performance.

Variable and analysis element ACC APC
ACC Correlation coefficient 1.000 0.250*
Sig. (bilateral) 0.0 0.022
N 65 65
APC Correlation coefficient 0.250* 1.000
Sig. (bilateral) 0.022 0.0
N 65 65

Table 7: Rho Spearman correlation in the classification of study variables.


Regarding the discussion of results, for sociodemographic data, in the Navalón y Ruiz [7], Salazar, [8], y Bautista [9] study, the selection of the sample consists of a larger female population, with age ranges between 15 and 19 years, finding similarity with this investigation, where the same characteristics predominate.

Likewise, a great similarity is established with Bautista [9], so, those students of upper secondary level who have ingested alcohol ever in their life (75.5%), 48.7% did it in the last year, 27% in the last month and 13.9% in the last week, demonstrating a low frequency in the habit of intake, for this study, only 21.6% are drinkers, and only 6% have some affectation or problem due to the intake of alcoholic beverages. Another coincidence is the application of the AUDIT test to diagnose and obtain a degree of consumption in the population, classifying them, according to the components of the instrument that they explore, frequency, places, antecedents and ways to do it.

According to the studies of Navalón and Ruiz [7], Lituma [11] according to the results, the population studied has a low or lower academic performance, showing a highly significant relation with the family, it means that, they have weakness in the relationships at home, lack of communication and a poor perception of support or motivation provided, confirming that social and family relationships are modulators of low academic performance, finding similarity with this investigation, where both variables have a significant relation. When analyzing the effect that a substance consumption has on student academic performance, similarity is exposed with the Navalón y Ruiz study [7] where 48% of respondents showed low school performance, attributed to the use of psychoactive substances, based on the results, they concluded that academic performance and school absenteeism are negatively influenced by the use and abuse of drugs.

In the case of Herrera and Ñañez [10], in face the phenomenon of consumption, she found similarity, since significant impacts are perceived in the academic performance of the students because of the dynamics of intake. However, in their life stories they express vital projects and motivations with positive expectations for the future and manifest the interest of reducing or eliminating their consumer behavior, and resignifying essential aspects of their worldview, through cognitive factors known or perceived that reflect the meaning and social experience.

In the work of Llituma [11], the analysis of the variables, a strong association was found between low performance and alcohol consumption, since 57% of the drinkers, present a low school performance, coinciding with the present investigation, where there is statistical significance enters the Classification of Alcohol Consumption and Classification of Academic Performance VCA, VRA (CRS: 0.250; <0.05). In summary, although there are various similarities between the effects caused by the use of drugs, the analysis shows a greater similarity, so, the consumption of psychoactive substances was a direct modulator of academic performance, In addition, it interferes with the family aspect, which, in turn, affects the students' performance, leading them to a school waste and even student failure.


To conclude the investigation, the objectives are answered; in relation to the first specific, the sample was formed by 302 students who attended the third (166) and fifth (136) semester of a public high school in the Camerino City Zeferino Mendoza (122 men and 180 women), with ages between 15 and 19 years. In the second objective, it is determined, that the weakness in the aspects of the home (lack of communication, limited support or motivation provided by the parent or guardian) and the presence of a behavior directed to the use of alcohol, favor the development of the habit, since the intake behaviors are allowed and therefore repeated. In addition, those students who scored with a high family indicator do not show signs of drinking alcoholic beverages. At the same time, the self-perception that the student has acts as a trigger to initiate the use of intoxicants because the low self-esteem and lack of aspirations, induce him to perform practices that lead him to experience euphoria and disinhibition.

On the other hand, objective three exemplifies the effects on the personality, making the student an antisocial being and generating certain dependencies, creating unstable behaviors that reduce their ability to establish social links. Thus, the influence of the intake of intoxicating beverages with familiar aspects is confirmed, in other words, the acts and patterns that are carried out in the family nucleus tend to be reproduced, in addition, of the harmful coexistence, thus giving the student a temperament or behavior that slows development in his academic life.

Respect the fourth objective, it is concluded that there is a low level in the intake of alcoholic beverages, so, by applying the AUDIT test [3] and the implemented cuts [21], it results that the largest number of cases are found in drinkers without problems (96 men and 141 women), 19 at risk men, 28 female risk drinkers and 18 with physical-psychic problems and probable Alcohol Dependency Syndrome (SDA). For the fifth objective, it is shown that most of the sample (287) have low or poor school performance, according to the adopted classification [26], and that there is not a single case high or in valuation (this being the highest standard) situation that becomes of greater concern when we know that only 6 individuals, were cataloged with a good or acceptable academic performance and 9 falls in school failure. In relation to the sixth objective, the family factor and the consumption of alcohol were identified as a condition, these deficiencies are expressed in the lack of communication and disinterest in the student's school life, causing the student to assume attitudes aimed at the lack of commitment, disinterest and ingestion of psychoactive substances, in the same way, the school infrastructure does not serve as an educational enhancer, due to the perception that the student has about his institution and the deficiencies that exist in it.

Finally, in response to the general objective, it is concluded that there is a direct relation in the study variables, Although the presence of this habit is not very marked in this institution, it shows the influence of the intake of intoxicating beverages in those who consume them, also reducing the family factor, this being one of the main modulator in the student performance of the population.


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