Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Friendly young people in particular drink under pressure

Men, extrovert people and those with positive expectations regarding alcohol use drink more than others, says Dutch psychologist Sander Bot. The amount a young person drinks is largely determined by how much others in the group drink. Friendly young people in particular, people who score high on the personality dimension friendliness, are sensitive to the influence of others on their alcohol use.

Besides genetic disposition, drinking behaviour is affected by culture, upbringing and the immediate social environment. Among young people alcohol use is a form of social behaviour. They drink in groups: in private bars, at parties, in clubhouses or at discos. Social alcohol use is strongly dependent on the behaviour and influence of others. This applies to men in particular.

Among young people, alcohol addiction is not yet an issue but excessive alcohol use is directly related to, for example, aggression, vandalism and traffic accidents. Hence, it is important to gain a better understanding of the processes that determine how much alcohol a person consumes in the presence of peers.

Father as role model

The research was carried out under young adults aged 18 to 25 years, most of whom did not live at home. Nevertheless, upbringing and the role of the parents still exert a small effect on the amount drunk. For example, a high level of parental support is generally associated with less antisocial behaviour and is correlated with less alcohol consumption in the presence of peers. The drinking behaviour of the father affects that of the young person: if he drinks regularly then the children readily do the same. If, however, he is more reserved then the same response is observed in the child. It is, however, not clear whether this is the result of genetic predisposition or imitation.

Group roles and friendships play no role within a drinking situation.

The results of this study showed that 12 to 14 year olds are most influenced by classmates with a higher status and those with whom they want to be friends. These differences in influence were, however, not found in the observations of young adults. Here, a high degree of imitation was also found yet no distinction in influence was seen between either best friends or participants with high status, the so-called leader figures. Although these factors may play a role in the decision to actually go on a night out or indeed to leave the drinking situation, but within the situation they make no difference whatsoever.

Men determine the drinking behaviour

Sex ratio in the group is a major determinant for alcohol use: the more men present, the greater the amount drunk by both men and women. Possibly a process might be initiated in male groups which ensures that men drink more than usual because participants challenge each other or because no one wants to be surpassed. The observations revealed that men adjust their alcohol use to that of other group members far more than women do. Men also drank more, whereas women stopped drinking earlier in the presence of men who expect that alcohol use leads to sexual excitement.

Bar games

Previous research had established that people drink less if they are actively involved in a game such as billiards, darts or a card game. However this study reveals that the lower consumption is made up for as soon as the game is over. This means that the total alcohol consumption is not influenced by what people do when they socialise.

Sander Bot was one of the first to observe the drinking behaviour in groups of young adults and combine this with questionnaire data concerning the individual group members. His research was supervised by the Behavioural Science Institute.

Dr Sander Bot | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow
26.10.2016 | Duke University

nachricht Inflammation Triggers Unsustainable Immune Response to Chronic Viral Infection
24.10.2016 | Universität Basel

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

3-D-printed structures shrink when heated

26.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow

26.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

First results of NSTX-U research operations

26.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>