Handedness and drinking behaviour
Article first published online: 11 MAR 2011
©2010 The British Psychological Society
British Journal of Health Psychology
Volume 16, Issue 2, pages 386–395, May 2011
How to Cite
Denny, K. (2011), Handedness and drinking behaviour. British Journal of Health Psychology, 16: 386–395. doi: 10.1348/135910710X515705
- Issue published online: 13 APR 2011
- Article first published online: 11 MAR 2011
- Received 16 February 2010; revised version received 17 May 2010
Objectives. A number of papers have investigated whether there is an association between handedness and alcohol consumption hypothesizing that alcoholism may be a consequence of atypical cerebral lateralization or a response to the stress involved in being a minority in a right-handed world. Research to date has mostly used small clinical samples, some without a comparison group. This paper exams this issue using a large population-based random sample.
Design. A large multi-country data set of nationally representative samples of the non-institutional population aged 50 years and older from 12 European countries was used (N= 27,428).
Methods. Logistic regression was used to model the frequency with which individuals self-report the frequency of alcohol consumption. A series of models with differing numbers of potential confounders are estimated. The predictors of frequent and infrequent drinking are investigated separately.
Results. After controlling for a number of confounders it is shown that left-handers do drink more often. However, this is due to them being less likely to drink rarely (less than once a month) or not at all.
Conclusions. The evidence suggests that while there is an association between left-handedness and frequency of alcohol consumption there is no reason to believe that it is associated with excessive alcohol consumption or risky drinking.