Girls were more likely to start drinking before 18 years of age compared to boys, finds a previous research on an apparent narrowing of the historical "gender gap" in drinking prevalence.
This research seeks to extend these epidemiological findings by estimating the fine-grained, age-specific incidence of becoming a drinker among 12- to 24-year-old U.S. males and females, and comparing incidence estimates with prevalence proportions.
‘The so-called "gender gap" in the risk of becoming an alcoholic has narrowed to the point of being no gap at all.’
Researchers examined a population comprised of 12- to-24-year-old, non-institutionalized U.S. civilian residents. The participants were drawn from 12 successive U.S. National Surveys on Drug Use and Health: nationally representative samples drawn each year from 2002 to 2013 and assessed via computer-assisted self-interviews (n~=390,000).
Results confirm that the so-called "gender gap" in the risk of becoming a potential alcoholic has narrowed to the point of being no gap at all. In fact, during mid-adolescence the risk of starting to drink is greater for females than for males. That said, a greater prevalence of recently active drinking was subsequently seen in males after 19 years of age.