This exploratory study contrasts young people’s predrinking in two European cultural contexts: Spain and the UK. Whilst UK predrinking typically occurs privately amongst small groups of individuals who already know one another, the distinctive Spanish context of the Botellón (Spanish: Big Bottle) details a far larger gathering in which predominantly young adult participants gather in public areas to socialize and drink. As such, predrinking motives which drive consumption and risk-taking may be expected to vary between these cultures. An online questionnaire (N = 393; UK = 166, Spain= 227) was used to measure predrinking motivations, drinking behaviour, and risk taking. Path analysis was used to analyse both direct and indirect relationships between the measures with the aim of predicting alcohol consumption with the most parsimonious model. Varying (in)direct paths were observed amongst predrinking motives and alcohol consumption between the cultures. Whilst there was similarity in predrinking motive endorsement cross-nationally, overall consumption was shaped differentially by gender and age. Further, (personal) risky behaviour and risk-taking predicted consumption in both samples, pointing to the importance of group norms and behaviours in self-reported predrinking activity, irrespective of alcohol consumption. These findings highlight the potential importance of the environment in which young people predrink. Given their importance in shaping alcohol consumption and risk taking in young people, cross-cultural differences in predrinking contexts and motives warrant further investigation.
- Alcohol consumption
- alcohol behaviour