ERIC Number: EJ721748
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Dec-1
Reference Count: 16
Binge or Bout? Quantity and Rate of Drinking by Young People in the Evening in Licensed Premises
Hammersley, Richard; Ditton, Jason
Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, v12 n6 p493-500 Dec 2005
A sample of 291 people aged 16-25 responded to an interviewer-completed questionnaire seeking information on their quantity and rate of alcohol consumption. The survey was conducted in licensed premises in the centre of a large English city. Analysis revealed that men drank more than women, but adjusting for body size and recommended alcohol intake removed this difference. Most respondents planned to drink far more than recommended upper limits. However, they did so at a moderate rate of intake over many hours and only a minority planned to drink so fast that they would become extremely drunk. "Binge" drinking was typically defined by this sample to be fast and excessive drinking. There was no evidence of a distinct minority of bingers, for intake was a skewed unimodal distribution. Binge drinking is a politically highly charged concept, but is rarely defined with any precision. It is confused with drinking to excess and with drunkenness. This study suggests that drinking rate must be a key part of any competent definition. Study participants were on a drinking "bout" that involved drinking too much for health over 5 or 6 hours, but were not planning to get very drunk. Young people need to be encouraged to drink less even when they are not getting drunk, and warnings about binges and their dire consequences may distract from this message.
Descriptors: Young Adults, Alcohol Abuse, Drinking, Late Adolescents, College Students, Interviews, Questionnaires, Foreign Countries, Gender Differences
Customer Services for Taylor & Francis Group Journals, 325 Chestnut Street, Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420 (Toll Free); Fax: 215-625-8914.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)