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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10373/499

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Title: Descriptors and accounts of alcohol consumption: methodological issues piloted with female undergraduate drinkers in Scotland
Authors: Gill, Jan S.
Donaghy, Marie
Guise, Jennifer
Warner, Pamela
Affiliation: University of Abertay Dundee. School of Social and Health Sciences
Keywords: Drinking
Binge
Assessment
Female
Student
Issue Date: 2007
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Type: Journal Article
Refereed: peer-reviewed
Rights: This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Health Education Research following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version "Gill, J.S., et al. 2007. Descriptors and accounts of alcohol consumption: methodological issues piloted with female undergraduate drinkers in Scotland. Health Education Research. 22(1): pp.27-36. Available from DOI: 10.1093/her/cyl037" is available online at: http://her.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/22/1/27.
Citation: Gill, J.S., et al. 2007. Descriptors and accounts of alcohol consumption: methodological issues piloted with female undergraduate drinkers in Scotland. Health Education Research. 22(1): pp.27-36. Available from DOI: 10.1093/her/cyl037
Abstract: Excessive drinking among young women continues to attract adverse media attention and is the target of UK government-led initiatives. Reliable research on alcohol consumption is needed to inform/evaluate public health interventions. This pilot study, investigating descriptors of alcohol drinking in female Scottish undergraduate students, comprised: (i) self-completed questionnaire survey (n=95); (ii) interview plus test pouring of a ‘drink’ (n=19). Self-reports by 70% of drinkers (n=90) indicated alcohol consumption for the ‘week past’ meriting classification as ‘binge’ drinking, and 83% of this group reported drinking in this fashion at least fortnightly. However, binge-drinking may be under-estimated, since poured drinks were measured to be on average double the alcohol content for a standard drink, drinking often occurred outwith licensed premises, and respondents preferred to quantify consumption in (fractions of) bottles, rather than glasses. Qualitative analysis showed that interviewees oriented to drinking as an accountable practice but were unaware of the clinical definition of binge drinking. They defined it in terms of the effect of alcohol consumed on individual behaviour, not in absolute quantities. Given the unreliability of self-reported consumption, future health surveys and initiatives should consider ‘quantifying’ alcohol in a way more meaningful to the population of interest, in terms of effect.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10373/499
ISSN: 0268-1153
Appears in Collections:Social & Health Sciences Collection

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