Tridimensionality of alcohol use in Canada: Patterns of drinking, contexts and motivations to drink in the definition of Canadian drinking profiles according to gender

Marilyn Fortin, Stéphane Moulin, Elyse Picard, Richard E. Bélanger, Andrée Demers


OBJECTIVES: The aim of this paper is to examine whether there is an underlying multidimensional typology of drinking according to gender among a population presenting heterogeneous drinking profiles in Canada.

METHODS: Latent class analysis was chosen to analyze the degree of statistical relationship among three indicators of drinking practices: patterns of drinking – i.e., frequency and quantity; contexts; and motivations to drink. Multivariate multilogistic regressions were conducted to explore the composition of each typology by age and education. Participants were selected from the Canadian GENACIS survey (Gender, Alcohol, and Culture: An International Study) and comprised 871 men and 843 women (N = 1,714) aged between 18 and 77 years and being regular alcohol drinkers (consumption at least once a month). Respondents to the GENACIS questionnaire completed questions on use, contexts and reasons to drink as well as socio-economic questions (age and education), adjusted by Canadian province of residence.

RESULTS: Six profiles were distinguished among men and five among women. Men and women share four drinking patterns but present distinctive characteristics of drinking. We also observed variability in the relationship according to socio-economic status and gender.

CONCLUSION: Our results confirmed the complexity and variability of drinking practices according to gender in Canada and the necessity to focus on gender and social dimensions in order to enhance our understanding of alcohol use. This study also reinforces the idea of adapting promotion strategies and interventions in public health by gender and social status in order to make them more efficient.


Drinking profiles; typology; gender; context; motivation; social status

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