Home > A new approach to measuring drinking cultures in Britain.

Holmes, John and Lovatt, Melanie and Ally, Abdallah and Brennan, Alan and Meier, Petra (2016) A new approach to measuring drinking cultures in Britain. London: Alcohol Research UK.

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Key findings:
A typology of British drinking occasions can be constructed which identifies eight distinct occasion types. This typology has face validity with focus groups of drinkers.
• Drinking at increasing and high risk levels occurs in a diverse range of drinking occasions including drinking in the home and at other people’s houses, and extends well beyond caricatures of youth binge drinking in urban centres
• Our study does not support a representation of the British drinking culture as one which is characterised by excessive consumption and drinking to intoxication, although this is one aspect of the culture
• High risk occasions are found across all age, sex and socioeconomic groups but the majority occur within those aged over 35 and of high socioeconomic status
• Drinkers of lower socioeconomic status have fewer occasions but consume more per occasion, which may partly account for the paradox that drinkers of lower socioeconomic status have higher alcohol-related mortality rates despite being less likely to drink and having lower average weekly consumption if they do so.
• Policy-relevant factors such as price and health considerations influenced participants’ drinking occasions, but these intersected with and were filtered through drinkers’ own experiences and circumstances

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