Main author: Jon Edmund Bollom
Institution or Company: Háskóli Íslands
Co-Authors, Institution or Company:
Aladje Baldé, Jean Piaget University Guinea-Bissau. Zeca Jandi, Instituto Nacional de Estudos e Pesquisa (INEP). Hamadou Boiro, Instituto Nacional de Estudos e Pesquisa (INEP). Jónína Einarsdóttir, Faculty of Sociology, Anthropology and Folkloristics, University of Iceland. Geir Gunnlaugsson, Faculty of Sociology, Anthropology and Folkloristics, University of Iceland.
Introduction: The UN Office on Drugs and Crime advocates interventions addressing social determinants of drug use and criminality, to achieve SDGs 3 (health and well-being) and 16 (justice for all). Such behaviours are often adopted during adolescence, influencing later health and life-choices. Data on drug use and its determinants in resource-poor settings is scarce, hindering intervention programming. The study aim was to explore criminality and drug behaviours among school-attending adolescents in Bissau, Guinea-Bissau.
Methods: The study was implemented in June 2017, targeting 15-16 year olds, with 4,470 adolescents responding to a locally adapted questionnaire across 16 schools in Bissau. 2,039 were subsequently selected through random cluster process. Varimax principal component analysis of 312 variables captured data-driven models of drug use behaviours.
Results: Just over a quarter (27.3%) of respondents reported lifetime alcohol use, 10.8% reported lifetime smoking incidence, and 3.6% indicated lifetime cannabis use. In each instance, the ‘15 years and above’ age bracket was the most significant period of initiation, signifying increased instigation in later adolescence. Linear regression analysis revealed experiences of drinking alcohol, sexual and group violence predicted drug use and criminality. Male gender and changing schools predicted violence, female gender and poor family finance predicted theft. Drug use and false police accusation predicted violence and theft. School dismissal, relationship breakdown and male gender predicted drug use.
Conclusions: Alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use were patterned, indicating simultaneous drugs use. Single interventions may prevent several antisocial behaviours, and multiple-drug interventions may prove equally effective to those addressing one.