Staying in the 'sweet spot': a resilience-based analysis of the lived experience of low-risk drinking and abstention among British youth

Graber, Rebecca, de Visser, Richard, Abraham, Charles, Memon, Anjum, Hart, Angie and Hunt, Kate (2016) Staying in the 'sweet spot': a resilience-based analysis of the lived experience of low-risk drinking and abstention among British youth. Psychology and Health, 31 (1). pp. 79-99. ISSN 0887-0446

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to understand how and why young people drink less or not at all when with their peers. Understanding the subjective experiences of moderate or non-drinkers may help identify protective processes facilitating resilience to cultural norm and influences that encourage excessive alcohol consumption among young people.

DESIGN

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 25 moderate- or non-drinkers aged 17-25 years (13 young women) living in South East England. Interviews explored recent experiences of social situations and encounters that did or did not involve alcohol. Transcripts were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis.

RESULTS

Analysis identified six conceptually coherent themes clustering within a superordinate theme of a healthy experience of moderate alcohol use or abstention: 'the sweet spot'. These themes were: feeling good in the body, feeling like you can be who you are, feeling like you belong, making a free choice, enjoying the moment, and feeling safe and secure.

CONCLUSIONS

This resilience-based analysis showed how non-drinking and moderate-drinking may be experienced as a positive and proactive choice. Understanding the subjective experiences of young people may aid development of specific, realistic interventions to promote moderate drinking and abstention among young people in drinking cultures.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Primary Care and Public Health
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
Depositing User: Lene Hyltoft
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2015 10:56
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2017 15:48
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/55333

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