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This study supports the hypothesis that the drinking setting can be an environmental risk factor for hazardous alcohol use. In a survey of Dutch adolescents (n=1516), alcohol consumption and participation in private peer group settings (PPSs), environments where adolescents meet and drink alcohol without direct adult supervision, were measured. After controlling for demographic variables, adolescents visiting PPSs as compared to non-visitors, appeared to have a significantly higher lifetime prevalence of alcohol use, average weekly consumption, and frequency of heavy episodic drinking. Moreover, accounting for school clustering, the frequency of PPS visits was associated with increased alcohol consumption.