Drinking Patterns and Attitudes for young people in Inner-Urban Melbourne and Outer-Urban Growth-Areas: Differences and Similarities

Despite new patterns of socio-spatial polarisation, cities are generally treated as homogenous places in analyses of alcohol consumption. To inform local alcohol policy, we compared alcohol measures for young people in inner-urban Melbourne and outer-urban growth areas using data from the 2009 Victorian Youth Alcohol and Drug Survey. Young people in inner Melbourne reported more liberal attitudes to drinking than their peers in growth areas. Regular strength beer was more usually consumed in inner Melbourne against premixed spirits in growth areas, and drinking at licensed venues was more usual in inner Melbourne. Respondents below the legal drinking age of 18 in inner Melbourne were more likely to have purchased alcohol and to have consumed alcohol in a licensed premise during the past year. As findings were only slightly altered by adjusting for age, sex and socio-economic status, it is likely that these differences relate to local drinking cultures, alcohol outlet density and the range of leisure activities available for young adults. Measures to reduce heavy episodic drinking through restricting alcohol availability are relevant to both inner and growth area settings. Enforcement of provisions banning alcohol sales to minors is particularly indicated in inner Melbourne. Growth area responses might focus on cautious outlet density planning.

Additional Info

  • Authors

    MacLean S; Ferris J
  • Issue

    Urban Policy and Research, pages 417-434, volume 31
  • Published Date