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Journal Article


Huckle T, Gruenewald P, Ponicki WR. Alcohol Clin. Exp. Res. 2016; 40(5): 1129-1135.


Prevention Research Center , Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, Berkeley, California.


(Copyright © 2016, John Wiley and Sons)






BACKGROUND: Limited research suggests the context in which drinking occurs may contribute to specific alcohol-related consequences. Therefore the aims are to (i) determine whether the use of drinking contexts affects risks for several drinking consequences among young people in the general population and (ii) assess the degree to which additional risks are associated with greater levels of drinking in those contexts.

METHODS: A New Zealand survey of 16- to 29-year-olds asked about context-specific drinking and incidence of alcohol-related consequences grouped as follows: total, alcohol-related disorderly behavior, symptoms of dependence, effects of heavier drinking, and felt effects the next day. A context-specific dose-response model separated the effects of frequency (i.e., how often someone consumes 1 drink in each context) and context-specific quantity (i.e., the count of each successive drink consumed above the first), and these were estimated as predictors of consequences. Demographic covariates were included.

RESULTS: Exposure (number of visits): Increased exposure to drinking at bars/nightclubs, even at a very low level of consumption, that is, 1 drink, was independently related to the experience of greater consequences, including alcohol-related disorderly behavior. Risks for alcohol-related consequences were more strongly related to exposure to bars/nightclubs than they were to heavier drinking in that context. Greater use of private motor vehicles and outdoor public places was also associated with greater consequences (independently of the heavier drinking in these contexts). Quantity: Risk of consequences associated with others' home, restaurants, and own home depended primarily on quantity consumed.

CONCLUSIONS: Bars/nightclubs are inherently risky contexts for drinking by young people and improved controls are required. Drinking at others' home, private motor vehicles, and outdoor public places were also associated with consequences; prevention efforts increasing the price and reducing the availability of takeaway alcohol should work to reduce consequences at these contexts. Innovative context-specific interventions may be useful.

Copyright © 2016 by the Research Society on Alcoholism.

Language: en


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