An examination of the extent to which drinking motives and problem alcohol consumption vary as a function of deprivation, gender and age

Derek Heim*, REBECCA MONK, ADAM QURESHI

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Existing research points to a link between socioeconomic factors, alcohol consumption and harms, while another body of work documents the importance of varying motivations to drink in shaping alcohol behaviours. Yet, little is currently known about the extent to which alcohol consumption may be differentially associated with drinking motives as a function of deprivation, gender and age. Method: Cross-sectional analysis of data from a UK sample aged between 18-75 ears (n=1639; 51% male, Mage = 47.74, SD = 14.66). Structural equation modelling, using clustering to account for the multi-level nature of the data set, was carried out to assesses the relationships between deprivation (Index of Multiple Deprivation; IMD), occupation, age, gender and problem alcohol consumption (AUDIT) and social, conformity, enhancement and coping drinking motives. Results: Coping, enhancement and conformity, but not social, motives were associated with problem alcohol consumption. Drinking motives were stronger predictors of problem consumption than gender and age, with motives tending to be endorsed more strongly by younger and male respondents. Responses from participants with working class occupations tended to be characterised by elevated endorsements of coping motives. Conclusion: Drinking motives are stronger predictors of problem alcohol consumption than socio-demographic variables although these factors exert influences on people’s motives to drink.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDrug and Alcohol Review
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 28 Oct 2020

Keywords

  • Alcohol
  • Drinking
  • Deprivation
  • Motives
  • Age
  • Gender

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