Social and behavioural determinants of areca nut consumption in adolescents

Boyen Huang, Jessica Joanna Zachar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of areca nut consumption and to identify social and behavioural determinants among a Taiwanese adolescent population. Subjects and Methods: A random sample of 5,343 high school students aged between 15–18 years in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, participated in the study. Participants underwent a clinical dental examination and completed a self-administered questionnaire. Data analyses were performed using multivariate logistic regression to establish a relationship between areca nut consumption as well as social and behavioural characteristics. Results: The prevalence of areca nut consumption was 3.0%. The chewing habit was more prevalent among older adolescents (p <.001, OR = 1.50, 95% CI: 1.26, 1.78), males (p <.001, OR = 17.91, 95% CI: 8.57, 37.40), pupils living with non-birth parent(s) (p =.003, OR = 2.13, 95% CI: 1.29, 3.50), children of family heads with primary (p =.001, OR = 2.90, 95% CI: 1.50, 5.59) or secondary level of education (p <.001, OR = 2.78, 95% CI: 1.74, 4.46), frequent risk takers (p <.001, OR = 1.35, 95% CI: 1.27, 1.43) and students of low physical fitness (p <.001, OR = 3.65, 95% CI: 1.81, 7.35). Conclusions: Areca nut consumption has become an ongoing pertinent issue in adolescent health. Future investigations into neurocognitive influences of risk-taking behaviour on areca nut consumption and social dependence of the habit are indicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1820-1826
Number of pages7
JournalOral Diseases
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. All rights reserved


  • adolescent risk taking scale
  • betel nut
  • effort sense rating scale
  • family structure
  • substance addiction
  • traumatic dental injuries


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