The social consequences of binge drinking: a comparison of young adults in six european countries

A considerable amount of survey information was available from general population surveys carried out in six countries between 2000 and 2005. These studies were conducted under the auspices of Gender, Alcohol and Culture: An International Study (GENACIS). A total of 1,446 adults between 18 and 23 years of age and 2,482 adults between 24 and 32 years of age from the Czech Republic, Denmark, the Isle of Man, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom responded to questions about their drinking habits and the social consequences directly resulting from their drinking. Survey methods varied from quota sampling with face-to-face interviewing in Spain and the United Kingdom to telephone surveys in Denmark and Sweden. Response rates varied from 50% to 72%. 'Binge' or 'heavy episodic' drinking was defined as a usual amount on one occasion of more than 8 UK "units" for men and more than 6 units for women. Consequences investigated comprised relationship, health and financial problems, being asked to cut down on drinking, and being involved in a fight. In Denmark and Sweden, the group aged 24 to 32 years was less likely to be binge drinkers than the 18 to 23 year olds. In the other countries, there was little difference. There was also little difference between the age groups in frequency of drinking, but there were considerable variations in this respect between countries. People in the United Kingdom, Sweden, the Czech Republic, and Denmark were more likely to suffer at least one consequence than those in Spain and the Isle of Man. In Spain, there was little change between the age groups in this respect. Fights were most common in the United Kingdom. Being asked to cut down one's drinking was less common in Spain and Sweden than it was elsewhere. Findings are discussed in terms of the varied drinking cultures in the different countries.

Additional Info

  • Authors

    Plant MA;  Plant ML  Miller P  Gmel G  Kuntsche S.
  • Issue

    J Addict Dis. / pages 294-308 / volume 28
  • Published Date