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Home > A qualitative study of Irish postgraduate students’ alcohol consumption.

Hogan, Geraldine and O'Loughlin, Deirdre (2014) A qualitative study of Irish postgraduate students’ alcohol consumption. Journal of Substance Use , 19 , (5) , pp. 373-377. 10.3109/14659891.2013.827246.

This exploratory qualitative study investigated Irish postgraduate students’ experiences of alcohol consumption and the motives that work to encourage their engagement in the consumption practice. Utilising a non-probability purposive sampling method, seven semistructured in-depth interviews were conducted with postgraduate university students from a range of academic disciplines.

The findings of the research indicate that, during their studies, these young people underwent an important transition regarding the manner in which they engage in alcohol consumption. The excessiveness that characterised their initial behaviour as undergraduates has given way to a more restrained approach to alcohol consumption as postgraduates. A number of factors sustain this desire to adopt a more controlled approach to alcohol consumption, including an increasing sense of responsibility, critical self-reflection and experience gained. The research also provides valuable insight into the motives that continue to underlie engagement by this more mature group in the consumption practice, namely pleasure-seeking and the belief that drinking represents a form of expected behaviour.


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