Background/Aims: The consumption of alcohol and the frequency of intoxication among Norwegian youth increased significantly from 1992 to 2002, and we thus asked what, if anything, can be expected to happen to rates of other problem behaviors when heavy drinking becomes more widespread? Do such aggregate level changes in alcohol use imply that individual level associations between drunkenness and behavioral deviance change as well? Method: School-based surveys of 16- to 19-year-old Norwegians that were carried out in 1992 (n = 4,744, response rate 97%) and 2002 (n = 5,458, response rate 92%). Results: Contrary to rates of drunkenness, the level of theft/pilfering declined from 1992 to 2002, while rates of aggressive behavior and school misconduct remained unchanged. We assumed that heavy-drinking adolescents were relatively less deviant with regard to non-violent problem behaviors when the youth culture was relatively ‘wet’ (2002) as compared to the period when it was much ‘drier’ (1992) and revealed that this was the case. However, the link between drunkenness and aggressive behavior was equally strong at both assessments. Conclusion: Differential temporal trends in the associations between drunkenness and various problem behaviors may reflect variations with respect to the etiological significance of alcohol use on such behaviors.

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