Segmenting Australian high school students : two-step cluster analysis preliminary results

Dietrich, Timo, Rundle-Thiele, Sharyn, Schuster, Lisa, & Connor, Jason (2014) Segmenting Australian high school students : two-step cluster analysis preliminary results. In Allebeck, Peter (Ed.) The 7th European Public Health Conference, 19 - 22 November 2014, Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, Glasgow, Scotland.

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A one size fits all approach dominates alcohol programs in school settings (Botvin et al., 2007), which may limit program effectiveness (Snyder et al., 2004). Programs tailored to the meet the needs and wants of adolescent groups may be more effective. Limited attention has been directed towards employing a full segmentation process. Where segmentation has been examined, the focus has remained on socio-demographic characteristics and more recently psychographic variables (Mathijssen et al., 2012). The current study aimed to identify whether the addition of behaviour could be used to identify segments. Variables included attitudes towards binge drinking (α = 0.86), behavioral intentions’ (α = 0.97), perceived behavioral control (PBC), injunctive norms (α = 0.94); descriptive norms (α = 0.87), knowledge and reported behaviour. Data was collected from five schools, n = 625 (32.96% girls).

Two-Step cluster analysis produced a sample (n = 625) with a silhouette measure of cohesion and separation of 0.4. The intention measure and whether students reported previously consuming alcohol were the most distinguishing characteristics - predictor importance scores of (1.0). A four segment solution emerged. The first segment (“Male abstainers” – 37.2%) featured the highest knowledge score (M: 5.9) along with the lowest-risk drinking attitudes and intentions to drink excessively. Segment 2 (“At risk drinkers” - 11.2%) were characterised by their high-risk attitudes and high-risk drinking intentions. Injunctive (M: 4.1) and descriptive norms (M: 4.9) may indicate a social environment where drinking is the norm. Segment 3 (”Female abstainers” – 25.9%) represents young girls, who have the lowest-risk attitudes and low intentions to drink excessively. The fourth and final segment (boys = 67.4%) (“Moderate drinkers” – 25.7%) all report previously drinking alcohol yet their attitudes and intentions towards excessive alcohol consumption are lower than other segments. Segmentation focuses on identifying groups of individuals who feature similar characteristics. The current study illustrates the importance of including reported behaviour in addition to psychographic and demographic characteristics to identify unique groups to inform intervention planning and design.

Key messages

The principle of segmentation has received limited attention in the context of school-based alcohol education programs.

This research identified four segments amongst 14-16 year high school students, each of which can be targeted with a unique, tailored program to meet the needs and wants of the target audience.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 82089
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Segmentation, Social Marketing, Alcohol, Adolescents
DOI: 10.1093/eurpub/cku166.067
ISSN: 1464-360X
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 The Authors
Deposited On: 02 Mar 2015 01:47
Last Modified: 02 Mar 2015 01:47

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