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Adolescent alcohol use and participation in organised activities: A mixed methods study of British young people

Hallingberg, Britt ORCID: 2014. Adolescent alcohol use and participation in organised activities: A mixed methods study of British young people. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Those who misuse alcohol are a burden on health services, the economy and society generally. Compared to their peers, British adolescents report some of the highest levels of alcohol use in Europe. Community organisations can potentially play an important role in the delivery of policy interventions aimed at reducing alcohol misuse. However, little is known about British adolescents’ engagement with these organisations, and related activities, and therefore the role that participation in community activities plays in adolescent alcohol use. This thesis presents findings from an investigation into young people’s participation in organised activities (OAs), such as sports and special groups. While the research was primarily motivated by psychological theories of adolescent risk taking their application was in an ecological framework that identified broader social and environmental determinants of behaviour. An explanatory mixed method design was used. This consisted of two longitudinal studies using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), two cross-sectional studies of male young offenders and non-offenders and a qualitative study involving practitioners involved with the care and management of vulnerable young people. Findings revealed that individual-level characteristics associated with risk-taking behaviours predicted OA participation and that more vulnerable young people participated less in OAs. The analysis of qualitative data indicated that there were barriers to youngsters’ participation in OAs at multiple levels. Longitudinal analyses showed that those participating in sport OAs were more likely to report alcohol use compared to adolescents who did not participate in any OA and participants in non-sport OAs. Cross-sectional analyses showed that young offenders in team sports reported lower levels of hazardous alcohol use compared to young offenders who did not participate in any OA. Qualitative work explored how OA participation might impact vulnerable young people’s alcohol use and showed that the structures of organisations were important for how practitioners worked and the mechanisms identified. These findings highlighted OA participation inequalities among British adolescents and the importance of community contexts for future adolescent alcohol use interventions.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement (DECIPHer)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Uncontrolled Keywords: risk taking; adolescence; sport; organised activities; alcohol use; mixed methods; sensation seeking; impulsivity
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2022 08:51

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