Make a tax-deductible donation today

Binge drinking and related risk factors amongst out-of-school 16 year olds in NSW



Dr Julia Tresidder


Young people who leave school early and do not enter training or employment are considered a disadvantaged group, at risk of adverse health consequences. There have been very few Australian studies that document alcohol use by this group and even fewer that document other associated risk behaviours. This study investigates alcohol use and associated risk behaviours of 16 year-olds who have left school early in NSW. Age 16 was chosen as this is the age at which young people begin to leave school in large numbers. The sample consisted of 283 young people who had left school by age 16.    The group surveyed had higher rates of alcohol and other drug use than those who were still in school. The out-of-school group also reported a high prevalence of violence, drink driving, being in trouble with the police, and associating with gangs. The prevalence of risk factors associated with alcohol and other drug use was also high and included sexual and physical abuse, having moved residence in the past 6 months, not being connected with their parents, and no longer living with their family.


Results from the research indicated that this target group is at risk of much higher rates of adverse health consequences through higher rates of alcohol and other drug use, and being exposed to and participating in violence, drink driving, and criminal behaviour. Many early school-leavers become isolated within the community, detached from their families and social support institutions.


Tresidder, JV 2003 Binge drinking and related risk factors amongst out of school 16 year-olds in NSW. Thesis (PhD), University of Sydney.

Recent research papers

FARE continues to fund and undertake research that contributes to the knowledge-base about alcohol harms and strategies to reduce them.

This research is used to inform our approach to evidence-based alcohol policy development, ensuring that the solutions we are advocating for are informed by research. FARE’s research is also often quoted by governments, other not-for-profit organisations and researchers in public discussions about alcohol, demonstrating that FARE is seen as a leading source of information.

Join our community

Will you join the community taking action on alcohol?

Join our community

Fill out the form below to receive regular updates & resources.

Join our community

Get updates & resources straight to your inbox