Young women's drinking experiences in public drinking venues

Armstrong, Kerry A., Thunstrom, Hanna, & Davey, Jeremy D. (2011) Young women's drinking experiences in public drinking venues. Queensland University of Technology & Foundation of Alcohol Research and Education.

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Alcohol-related mortality and morbidity represents a substantial financial burden to communities across the world. In Australia, conservative estimates place the societal cost (2004-2005) for alcohol abuse at approximately 15.3 billion dollar annually (Collins & Lapsley, 2008). Research has found that adolescence and young adulthood is a peak period for heavy episodic alcohol consumption, with over a third of all people aged 14-19 years having been at risk for acute alcohol-related harm at least once in the prior 12 months (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare [AIHW], (2008).

While excessive alcohol consumption has, for a long time, been seen as a male problem; there has been a gradual shift towards a social acceptance of female drinking which has resulted in a diminishing gap in drinking quantity and style between men and women (Roche & Deehan, 2002). There is substantial evidence that women are at higher risk than men for detrimental physical, medical, social and psychological effects of at-risk alcohol consumption (Epstein, et al., 2007). Research outlining the epidemiology of women’s substance use emphasises the need for further examination into influences that may be gender specific and culturally defined (Matheson, 2008; Measham & Ostergaard, 2009). As such, there is a need to utilise female perspectives in examining alcohol consumption and alcohol related problems in order to reflect a more balanced and competent version of drinking in today’s culture (Allamani, 2008).

Currently a number of reasons are offered to explain the observed trends including reduction in traditional sanctions and social norms against women drinking, financial emancipation, cultural shift and targeted advertising to name a few. However, there is yet comparatively little research examining drinking by young women in order to understand this ‘new’ drinking pattern. Most research into alcohol use and subsequent intervention and prevention campaigns have been based on male perceptions and constructs of drinking. While such approaches have provided important information regarding the quantity and frequency of alcohol consumption by women, they do not address the important question of why. To understand the why, research needs to explore the difference between males and females in the meaning of the behaviour and the place that drinking holds to them.

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ID Code: 60142
Item Type: Report
Refereed: No
Additional Information: Funded by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Queensland University of Technology & Foundation of Alcohol Research and Education
Deposited On: 21 May 2013 23:41
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2017 14:44

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