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Peer Pressure and Harmful Use of Alcohol in Thailand: A Spatial Autoregressive Model Application

Ravikan Nonkhuntod, Suchuan Yu*

Department of Economics, National Dong Hwa University, Hualien, 974301, Taiwan

* Corresponding Author: Suchuan Yu. Email: email

(This article belongs to this Special Issue: Suicide and emotional/behavioral issues among youth: Theoretical and methodological reflections)

International Journal of Mental Health Promotion 2023, 25(5), 613-626.


Due to peer pressure playing a crucial role in the decision to drink, people who have a more fragile temperament might be expected to be at higher risk. Moreover, many studies have investigated the influence of peer pressure on alcohol consumption, but few have examined the relationship between heavy drinking and peer pressure via a spatial autoregressive model (SAR) in low/middle-income countries, such as Thailand. This paper investigated the connection between heavy drinkers over the age of 15 years who drink more than or equal to 60 grams of unmixed alcohol at least once per month based on the Thai Survey of Cigarette Smoking and Alcoholic Drinking Behavior, 2014. Further, the drinkers were assumed to socialize with two peer groups: immediate family and close friends. Our paper considered a SAR model because SAR can overcome the reflection problem encountered using a linear-in-means model and the correlated effect problem found with hierarchical models. The main finding was the discovery of a significant and positive peer effect on alcohol consumption among heavy drinkers. In addition, there was evidence of education having an effect, but no evidence of income affecting on alcohol consumption. Specifically, a higher level of education was linked with lower levels of alcohol consumption. The results not only help us to understand the peer effect and alcohol consumption behavior, but policymakers can also apply peer effect-based strategies to formulate effective policies to decrease the alcohol consumption rate in Thailand.


Cite This Article

Nonkhuntod, R., Yu, S. (2023). Peer Pressure and Harmful Use of Alcohol in Thailand: A Spatial Autoregressive Model Application. International Journal of Mental Health Promotion, 25(5), 613–626.

cc This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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