Drinking in the presence of underage children: Attitudes and behaviour

The ambivalent characteristic of the Finnish drinking culture is particularly evident in the context of family life. While drinking to intoxication in the home environment is widely tolerated, attitudes towards drinking in the presence of children appear negative, and there is broad political concern about harms to children. This study aims to both illuminate the attitudes towards drinking and the actual drinking behaviour of parents living with their children. We use data on 19-59-year old Finns from a general population survey ( ?=?2046). Respondents were asked about their drinking habits, recent drinking occasions and attitudes to drinking. Men under 40 years of age without underage children at home drank significantly more and more often to intoxication than those who had underage children. In a similar manner, women in all age groups without children at home drank significantly more often to intoxication than those who had children at home. Drinking to intoxication while children are present was almost unanimously considered inappropriate. Yet almost 40% of respondents considered it acceptable to drink to intoxication in the child's company if someone else is looking after the child. There was a significant relationship between these attitudes and actual behaviour among women. The drinking culture in Finland is very permissive, with intoxication often considered suitable for children's eyes as long as their safety is guaranteed. Prevention efforts should continue to target these attitudes and behaviour.

Additional Info

  • Authors:

    Kirsimarja RaitasaloMarja Holmila, Pia Mäkelä

  • Issue: Addiction Research and Theory / pages 394-401 / volume 19
  • Published Date: 2011
  • More Information:

    For more information about this abstract, please contact
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at the Deutsche Weinakademie GmbH

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