Socio-economic status and binge drinking in Israel

Yehuda D. Neumark*, Giora Rahav, Dena H. Jaffe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Modern Israeli society is comprised primarily of two nationality groups - Jews and Arabs, with disparate religious and cultural attitudes toward alcohol drinking. We recently described higher rates of past-month drinking among Jewish adults, although Arabs who drink were more likely to report binge drinking. The goal of the present study is to examine the relationship between binge drinking and socio-economic status (SES) among Arab and Jewish adults in Israel. Data from a 1995 nationally representative household survey on drug and alcohol use were analyzed. Participants included male and female Arabs (n=982) and Jews (n=4972) aged 18-40 living in Israel. SES was assessed using education, household income, and occupation. The prevalence of binge drinking was highest among Arab men (21.4%) followed by Jewish men (15.2%), Arab women (7.3%), and Jewish women (4.0%). Prevalence rates and odds ratios (ORs) from logistic models controlling for age, gender, marital status and religiosity show that increased household income and occupation are associated with increased binge drinking among Arabs (OR>2.0) and decreased binge drinking among Jews (OR≅0.6). Higher educational achievement was protective against binge drinking in both nationality groups. Varied results for income and occupation, and education indicate the need to examine the association between each SES indicator and alcohol consumption independently, especially in culturally diverse populations.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)15-21
Number of pages7
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Issue number1
StatePublished - 24 Jan 2003


  • Alcohol
  • Arabs
  • Binge drinking
  • Israel
  • Jews
  • Socio-economic status


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