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This study examines Irish undergraduate students' behaviours and motives regarding alcohol consumption. The study explores both levels and patterns of consumption. A cross-sectional design using a convenience sample of (n = 213) students from a selection of different courses in Health Sciences at Trinity College Dublin was used to obtain this data. The study used a peer-led approach to design and data collection. Peer-led research is emerging as a robust methodology. Evidence supports it as an effective approach, particularly with sensitive questions, which may be shared with more ease between persons with common interests and experiences. In terms of alcohol consumption levels and patterns, of those who drank almost three quarters (149/71%) met the threshold for binge drinking (i.e. six of more consecutive drinks in one session). Males (n = 36/73.4%) were more likely than females (n = 113/69.7%) to binge drink. Moreover, one in 5 males (n = 10/20.4%) said that they drank ten or more drinks in one session. Males were more likely to drink for conformity reasons. Despite this, a significant proportion (69.2%) of participants reported alcohol-related problems. The Drinking Motives Questionnaire-Revised (DMQR) results showed that overall students were more likely to drink for social and enhancement reasons rather than coping or conformity reasons, consistent with other studies. Nonetheless, males in the current study were more likely to drink for conformity reasons. Given the high rates of hazardous drinking, the development of an alcohol intervention may be justified, given the high response rates to peer-screening, a peer-led intervention for alcohol-related harms may yield positive results.


Anna McAleer, Aisling Daly, Sorcha Leary, Joe Barry, Martina Mullin, Jo-Hanna Ivers. A peer-led survey of student alcohol Behaviours and motives in undergraduate students. Irish journal of medical science. 2021 Jan 06

PMID: 33409842

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