The role of family, friends and peers in Australian adolescent's alcohol consumption

Authors

  • Sandra C. Jones,

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre for Health Initiatives, University Of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia
    • Sandra C. Jones BA, MBA (Marketing), PostGradDipHlthProm, MPH, MAssessEval, PhD, Director, Christopher A. Magee BPsyc(Hons), MBA, PhD, Deputy Director. Correspondence to Professor Sandra Jones, Centre for Health Initiatives, University of Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia. Tel: +61 2 4221 5106; Fax: +61 2 4221 3370; E-mail: sandraj@uow.edu.au

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  • Christopher A. Magee

    1. Centre for Health Initiatives, University Of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia
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Abstract

Introduction and Aims

This study examines factors associated with alcohol-related attitudes and behaviours among 888 Australians aged 12 to 17 years. Although these influences have been examined in other countries, notably the USA, Australia's legal drinking age of 18 years is lower and adolescent drinking rates are substantially higher than in the USA.

Design and Methods

This is a survey of 888 adolescents aged 12–17; they were recruited via a variety of methods (including school based, interception in public places and online) to obtain a cross-section of participants across metropolitan, regional and rural New South Wales.

Results

Most respondents believed that people their age regularly consumed alcohol; and more than half believed that their siblings and peers would approve of them drinking. Predictors of frequent alcohol consumption included having a sibling or a friend who consumed alcohol; believing parents, friends and/or siblings approved of drinking; drinking behaviours of parents, friends and/or siblings; and having a higher disposable income.

Discussion and Conclusions

The results support previous findings from the USA. We find an even stronger effect of family and friends' drinking behaviours and attitudes in a country with a lower legal drinking age and high adult alcohol consumption rates.[Jones SC, Magee CA. The role of family, friends and peers in Australian adolescent's alcohol consumption. Drug Alcohol Rev 2014;33:304–313]

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