Abstainers and Drinkers–Two Sides of the Same Coin?

Jonas Raninen*, Michael Livingston, Kirsimarja Raitasalo, Peter Larm, Margaretha de Looze

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/Letter to the editorProfessional


This commentary discusses a recently published literature review focussing on the growing trend of young people abstaining from drinking alcohol. Despite the recent increase in research on the decline in youth drinking, the review only identified 10 papers that explicitly examined abstainers. The inclusion criteria used thus excluded and overlooked the vast literature available on the decline in youth drinking. This commentary discusses the implications of this and raises the issue of how the adolescent abstainer should be viewed in research; is it a distinct social phenomenon with unique determinants or are abstainers merely the flip side of drinkers?

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)832-834
Number of pages3
JournalSubstance use and Misuse
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Alcohol
  • change
  • drinking
  • HBSC
  • survey
  • youth


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