Home > A typology of alcohol consumption among young people – A narrative synthesis.

Davoren, Martin P and Cronin, Mary and Perry, Ivan J and Demant, Jakob and Shiely, Frances and O'Connor, Karl (2016) A typology of alcohol consumption among young people – A narrative synthesis. Addiction Research & Theory , 24 , (4) , pp. 261-273.


Background Currently, alcohol consumption levels are significantly higher among younger age groups. However, previous research has noted the diversity of motivations and patterns. These patterns of drinking have yet to be synthesised into a typology. The aim of the current study was to synthesise information from studies that produced types of alcohol consumption among young people.

Method Quantitative and qualitative literature investigating the different types of drinkers among young people [aged 12–24 years], published in peer reviewed journals, were eligible for inclusion in this systematic review. MEDLINE, PsychInfo and CINAHL were systematically searched for relevant articles published between January 1st 2000 and December 31st 2014. Included papers were critically appraised. A narrative synthesis approach was employed based on guidance from the UK Economic and Social Research Council.

Results In total, 13 studies were eligible for inclusion: 11 quantitative, one qualitative and one mixed methods. Six classes of drinkers were formed within this typology. Abstainers reported no alcohol consumption. Light drinkers reported drinking small amounts of alcohol infrequently. In comparison, social and hedonistic drinkers drank most in social situations and to have fun. Heavy and harmful consumers reported increased volume and frequency of consumption including harmful consequences.

Conclusion Currently, policy makers are attempting to combat the high levels of harmful alcohol consumption among young people. The current typology provides guidance for targeted interventions in addition to a practical analytic tool in future research.

Item Type:Article
Date:December 2016
Page Range:pp. 261-273
Publisher:Informa healthcare
Volume:24
Number:4
EndNote:View
Accession Number:HRB (Available)
Related URLs:
Subjects:A Substance use, abuse, and dependence > Prevalence > Substance use behaviour > Alcohol consumption
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Basic prevention categories > Targeted prevention
MP-MR Policy, planning, economics, work and social services > Policy > Policy on substance use > Harm reduction policy
T Demographic characteristics > Adolescent / youth (teenager / young person)
T Demographic characteristics > Young adult

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