INFAD (2020-06-01)

Analysis of substance consumption and indicators of physical and psychological health in young men and women

  • María López Fando Galdón,
  • Rafael Ballester Arnal,
  • Marta García Barba,
  • Marcel Elipe Miravet,
  • Mar Bisquert Bover

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 1, no. 1
pp. 423 – 434


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Health is a biopsychosocial experience related to certain aspects such as lifestyles and well-being. However, this perspective has not always been studied with regard to both gender and physical and mental health indicators. Objective: to analyze the relationship between specific health habits (tobacco, alcohol and substance consumption) and the subjective perception of physical and mental well-being taking into account gender differences. Method: 600 university students (50% men; 50% women) completed an online questionnaireregarding Lifestylesand Health (Giménez-García Ballester-Arnal, 2017). Results: 13.5% reported poor physical health (14% men and 13% women) and 17.7% poor mental health (18.3% men and 17% women). Regarding theconsumption of toxicsubstances, 14.7% of thesamplesmokes, 47% of thesample has been quite many times drunk and 34.2% of the sample has consumed other substances. More men than women have been drunk many times (X2=10.13; p= .017) and more men than women have ever used other substances (X2=8.08; p= .004). In general, there is no association between the consumption and abuse of tobacco, alcohol and other substances with the perception of mental or physical health by young people. In spite of there should be a certain relationship between lifestyles such as substance use and mental and physical health, many of these results have not been significant. Given that subjective perception of mental and physical health has been evaluated and objective indicators have not, this may be a resault of the low risk perception of young people, which leads them to carry out unhealthy behaviors without being aware of the consequences at the short term. In prevention programs it is essential to consider this lack of risk perception at young people.