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Young people’s explanations for the decline in youth drinking in England

Whitaker, V; Curtis, P; Fairbrother, H; Oldham, M; Holmes, J; (2023) Young people’s explanations for the decline in youth drinking in England. BMC Public Health , 23 , Article 402. 10.1186/s12889-022-14760-y. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Youth alcohol consumption has fallen markedly over the last twenty years in England. This paper explores the drivers of the decline from the perspectives of young people. Methods: The study used two methods in a convergent triangulation design. We undertook 38 individual or group qualitative interviews with 96 participants in various educational contexts in England. An online survey of 547 young people in England, was also conducted. Participants were aged between 12–19 years. For both data sources, participants were asked why they thought youth alcohol drinking might be in decline. Analysis of interview data was both deductive and inductive, guided by a thematic approach. Content analysis of survey responses further refined these themes and indicated their prevalence within a larger sample. Results: The research identified eight key themes that young people used to explain the decline in youth drinking: The potential for alcohol-related harm; Contemporary youth cultures and places of socialisation; The affordability of alcohol; Displacement of alcohol by other substances; Access and the regulatory environment; Disputing the decline; Future Orientations; and Parenting and the home environment. Heterogeneity in the experiences and perspectives of different groups of young people was evident, particularly in relation to age, gender, and socio-economic position. Conclusions: Young people’s explanations for the decline in youth drinking in England aligned well with those generated by researchers and commentators in prior literature. Our findings suggest that changing practices of socialisation, decreased alcohol affordability and changed attitudes toward risk and self-governance may be key explanations.

Type: Article
Title: Young people’s explanations for the decline in youth drinking in England
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s12889-022-14760-y
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-022-14760-y
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Keywords: Adolescent, Alcohol, Child, Culture, Health, Qualitative, Risk, Trends, Adolescent, Humans, Child, Young Adult, Adult, Underage Drinking, Ethanol, Alcohol Drinking, England, Dissent and Disputes
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Behavioural Science and Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10167362
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