Efforts to discourage excessive alcohol use among young people can only be effective if the target audience is exposed to, attends to, and comprehends key messages. The aim of this study was to examine age and sex differences in drinking motives to better inform development of targeted interventions to reduce alcohol-related harm. Thirty individual interviews and 12 group interviews were conducted with English 13-25 year olds. Interviewees gave multiple motivations for drinking - especially those related to image and reputation, and played down the health implications of heavy drinking. Negative aspects of drinking - caring for drunk friends, being cared for when drunk and suffering through hangovers with friends - were considered to offer opportunities for closer interpersonal bonding than other social activities. Respondents distanced themselves from 'problem' drinkers, but disapproved of others' problematic drinking or antisocial behaviour. Narrative messages demonstrating the social consequences of excessive consumption were preferred to single, static messages emphasising risk or harm. Interviewees noted that interventions must use an engaging tone or pitch: they considered many campaigns to be patronising or preaching. A lack of consensus between age and sex groups highlighted a need for multifaceted, multi-modal approaches that utilise mobile technologies and new media.

06 May 2014 In General Health




This study explores the longitudinal pathways by which risk and protective factors influence the development of alcohol-related harms in a representative community sample of 941 young adults (19-20 years) from Victoria, Australia, focusing on the role of concurrent risky drinking. Impulsivity at 15-16 years, alcohol-related harms at 15-16 years and 17-18 years, frequency of intoxication at 17-18 years, and antisocial behavior, friends' drinking and living arrangements at 19-20 years were directly related to alcohol-related harms, as well as indirectly related to harms through increased risky drinking. Paternal drinking at 17-18 years was directly related to alcohol-related harms. Friends' drinking at 19-20 years and alcohol-related harms at age 17-18 interacted with risky drinking to increase the likelihood of alcohol-related harms. Implications for intervention efforts are discussed.




OBJECTIVES: Finding predictors for predrinking and placing the new phenomenon of predrinking on a greater database. Predrinking is defined as alcohol consumption, alone or with friends, at home or at public places, before going out in the evening to a party or in bars or discotheques.

METHODS: Data were collected from a representative sample of 757 ninth- and tenth-grade students from 31 high schools located in a south German rural region and a city.

RESULTS: Predrinkers, especially those who show this behaviour frequently, were notably more likely to engage in hazardous drinking, and experienced significantly more frequent involvements in fights and alcohol-induced blackouts. They also stated more often that they had the intention of getting drunk when consuming alcohol.

CONCLUSIONS: Predrinking proves to be a high-risk behaviour, particularly when it occurs at a high frequency. This behaviour has to be seen as part of a new youth culture, which does not seem to be limited to a certain subgroup-with all of the associated risks.

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Europe has the highest level of alcohol consumption in the world. As drinking patterns are important determinants of the beneficial and harmful effects of alcohol consumption, we investigated alcohol consumption in relation to nutrient intake, place of consumption, education and body weight in a sample of adults from 10 European countries.

METHODS: A 24-h dietary recall interview was conducted on 13 025 men and 23 009 women, aged 35-74 years, from 27 centres participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. Means and standard errors of alcohol consumption, adjusted for age, were calculated, stratified by gender and centre.

RESULTS: In many centres, higher level drinkers (males consuming >24 g of ethanol/day, equivalent to >2 standard drinks and females consuming >12 g of ethanol/day equivalent to >1 standard drink) obtained more energy from fat and protein and less from sugar than did abstainers. The proportion of energy from starch tended to be higher for male and lower for female higher level drinkers than for abstainers. Female higher level drinkers had a lower body mass index than did abstainers, whereas male higher level drinkers generally weighed more. Male higher level drinkers were less educated than abstainers in Mediterranean countries, but were more educated elsewhere. Female higher level drinkers were usually more educated than were abstainers. Outside the home, consumption (both genders) tended to be at friends' homes, particularly among men in Northern and Central Europe, and in bars in Spain.

CONCLUSIONS: This study reveals clear geographical differences in drinking habits across Europe, and shows that the characteristics of different alcohol consumption categories also vary.

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