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Economic strain, social relations, gender, and binge drinking in Moscow


  • Jukkala, Tanya
  • Mäkinen, Ilkka Henrik
  • Kislitsyna, Olga
  • Ferlander, Sara
  • Vågerö, Denny


The harmful effects of alcohol consumption are not necessarily limited to the amounts consumed. Drinking in binges is a specific feature of Russian alcohol consumption that may be of importance even for explaining the current mortality crisis. Based on interviews conducted with a stratified random sample of 1190 Muscovites in 2004, this paper examines binge drinking in relation to the respondents' economic situation and social relations. Consistent with prior research, this study provides further evidence for a negative relationship between educational level and binge drinking. Our results also indicate a strong but complex link between economic strain and binge drinking. The odds ratios for binge drinking of men experiencing manifold economic problems were almost twice as high compared to those for men with few economic problems. However, the opposite seemed to be true for women. Being married or cohabiting seemed to have a strong protective effect on binge drinking among women compared to being single, while it seemed to have no effect at all among men. Women having regular contact with friends also had more than twice the odds for binge drinking compared to those with little contact with friends, while again no effect was found among men. Gender roles and the behavioural differences embedded in these, may explain the difference. The different effects of economic hardship on binge drinking may also constitute an important factor when explaining the large mortality difference between men and women in Russia.

Suggested Citation

  • Jukkala, Tanya & Mäkinen, Ilkka Henrik & Kislitsyna, Olga & Ferlander, Sara & Vågerö, Denny, 2008. "Economic strain, social relations, gender, and binge drinking in Moscow," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 663-674, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:66:y:2008:i:3:p:663-674

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. repec:aph:ajpbhl:2000:90:12:1936-1939_9 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Almedom, Astier M., 2005. "Social capital and mental health: An interdisciplinary review of primary evidence," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(5), pages 943-964, September.
    3. Björn Gustafsson & Ludmila Nivorozhkina, 2004. "Changes in Russian poverty during transition as assessed from microdata from the city of Taganrog," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 12(4), pages 747-776, December.
    4. Cockerham, William C. & Hinote, Brian P. & Abbott, Pamela, 2006. "Psychological distress, gender, and health lifestyles in Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(9), pages 2381-2394, November.
    5. repec:aph:ajpbhl:2002:92:12:1921-1930_5 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Kennedy, Bruce P. & Kawachi, Ichiro & Brainerd, Elizabeth, 1998. "The role of social capital in the Russian mortality crisis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(11), pages 2029-2043, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Laura Paalanen & Ritva Prättälä & Hannele Palosuo & Satu Helakorpi & Tiina Laatikainen, 2010. "Socio-economic differences in the use of dairy fat in Russian and Finnish Karelia, 1994–2004," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 55(4), pages 325-337, August.
    2. Berta Schnettler & Marianela Denegri & Horacio Miranda & José Sepúlveda & Ligia Orellana & Galo Paiva & Klaus Grunert, 2015. "Family Support and Subjective Well-Being: An Exploratory Study of University Students in Southern Chile," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 122(3), pages 833-864, July.
    3. Alexander S. Skorobogatov, 2014. "The Effect Of Closing Hour Restrictions On Alcohol Use And Abuse In Russia," HSE Working papers WP BRP 63/EC/2014, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    4. de Goeij, Moniek C.M. & Suhrcke, Marc & Toffolutti, Veronica & van de Mheen, Dike & Schoenmakers, Tim M. & Kunst, Anton E., 2015. "How economic crises affect alcohol consumption and alcohol-related health problems: A realist systematic review," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 131-146.
    5. Radaev, Vadim V. (Радаев, Вадим) & Kotelnikova, Zoya V. (Котельникова, Зоя), 2016. "Changes in Alcohol Consumption and Governmental Alcohol Policy in Russia
      [Изменение Структуры Потребления Алкоголя В Контексте Государственной Алкогольной Политики В России]
      ," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 5, pages 92-117, October.
    6. Ferlander, Sara & Mäkinen, Ilkka Henrik, 2009. "Social capital, gender and self-rated health. Evidence from the Moscow Health Survey 2004," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 69(9), pages 1323-1332, November.
    7. Maria Pavlova & Rainer Silbereisen & Kamil Sijko, 2014. "Social Participation in Poland: Links to Emotional Well-Being and Risky Alcohol Consumption," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 117(1), pages 29-44, May.
    8. repec:eee:jcecon:v:46:y:2018:i:3:p:821-837 is not listed on IDEAS


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