Get access

Do pre-drinkers consume more alcohol than non-pre-drinkers on an event-specific night out? A cross-national panel mobile survey of young people's drinking in England and Denmark

Authors

  • Jeanette Østergaard,

    Corresponding author
    1. The Danish National Centre for Social Research, Copenhagen, Denmark
    • Correspondence to Dr Jeanette Østergaard, The Danish National Centre for Social Research, Herluf Trolles Gade 11, Copenhagen 1052, Denmark. Tel: +45 3348 0940; Fax: +45 3348 0833; E-mail: jea@sfi.dk

    Search for more papers by this author
  • Peter R. Skov

    1. The Danish National Centre for Social Research, Copenhagen, Denmark
    2. Department of Sociology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
    Search for more papers by this author

  • Jeanette Østergaard PhD, Senior Researcher, Peter R. Skov PhD, PhD Student.

Abstract

Introduction and Aims

Young people drinking heavily before going out to bars and clubs is associated with alcohol-related harm and therefore of great public concern. This study examines whether pre-drinkers consume more alcohol than non-pre-drinkers on an event-specific night out in England and Denmark—two European countries known for their excessive youth drinking.

Design and Methods

An event-specific survey of 1298 young people conducted in 50 bars, pubs and nightclubs in England and Denmark and follow-up interviews conducted via mobile surveys (n = 580). The questionnaire measured demographics, socioeconomic status, frequency of intoxication and alcohol unit intake before and during the young people's night out.

Results

A mixed linear model performed on the panel mobile survey shows that pre-drinkers in England and Denmark consume 9.185 (P < 0.001) and 7.554 (P < 0.001) units, respectively, more than the non-pre-drinkers. However, in both countries pre-drinkers consume 3.430 (P < 0.05) and 3.141 (P < 0.001) units less alcohol on-premises than the non-pre-drinkers.

Discussion and Conclusion

Pre-drinking is a widespread phenomenon in England and Denmark, with more than half of young people pre-drinking on an event-specific night out. Pre-drinking contributes significantly to high-intensity drinking, as it does not preclude further drinking in bars, clubs and pubs. Thus, pre-drinking is a major target for public measures seeking to reduce young people's intoxication-related drinking and alcohol-related harm. [Østergaard J, Skov PR. Do pre-drinkers consume more alcohol than non-pre-drinkers on an event-specific night out? A cross-national panel mobile survey of young people's drinking in England and Denmark. Drug Alcohol Rev 2014;33:376–384]

Ancillary