november 2013

Who suggests drinking less? Demographic and national differences in informal social controls on drinking

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to examine variation in reports of pressuring others to drink less, as a form of informal social control of drinking, across countries and different types of relationship to the respondent.

METHOD: A cross-sectional survey was administered to 19,945 respondents ages 18-69 years in 14 countries included in the data set of the Gender, Alcohol and Culture: An International Study (GENACIS). Outcome variables were respondents' reports of pressuring others to drink less (yes/no) across a variety of relationships (their partners, other family members, workmates, or friends). Multilevel, multivariable logistic regression analysis was carried out on each outcome variable. The fixed-effects components included the Level 1 (individual) covariates of respondent age, gender, drinking status, and education level as well as the Level 2 (country level) covariates of percentage female drinkers and purchasing power parity. The random-effects components included country and current drinking status.

RESULTS: Respondents most frequently reported pressuring male friends to drink less (18%), followed by male family members (other than partners, 15%), partners (15%), work colleagues (12%), female friends (9%), female family members (other than partners, 6%), and children (5%). There was marked variation across countries, with pressuring frequently reported in Uganda, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua across most relationship types. Multivariable logistic regression revealed consistent effects of gender, with women more likely than men to report pressuring others to drink less across most relationship types. The patterns in relation to education status and age were less consistent and varied across relationship type.

CONCLUSIONS: Informal social control of drinking varies dramatically according to whom is most likely to pressure whom to drink less as well as the country in which people live.

Additional Info

  • Authors

    Dietze P.; Ferris J.; Room R.
  • Issue

    J.Stud.Alcohol Drugs / pages 859-866 / volume 74
  • Published Date

    november 2013