This essay has a total of 851 words and 6 pages.
Who influences the alcohol use and misuse of British teenagers? Although the health risks of
Heavy drinking is known and understood, the social habit continues to be accepted as a cultural norm. Is
it? Surprising then, that the young people are beginning to drink at school ages. It is illegal to purchase
An alcoholic drink under the age of 18, it would appear through the current research that teenage drinking
Is common place.
A recent Scottish survey by McKegney N et al (1996), found that at least 50% of teenagers by the
age of 14 had been drunk one or more occasion. Another National study by McMiller and Plant
(1996) showed that 77.9% of 15-16 year olds have experienced intoxication. 50.3% of these had consumed
at least five units of alcohol consecutively within the last 30 days. The evidence is readily available to
inform us of the increasing problem of adolescence alcohol misuse and the damaging consequences of this.
How then should children be educated so that alcohol misuse can be prevented and sensible use of alcohol
can be advised. May.C (1993), suggests that fact giving information to target populations is the most
commonly used approach in health education. Whist knowledge may be tested and be proved to have
improved by this method of education, studies have shown that there is a failure to demonstrate a change in
attitudes and behaviours. Other more successful methods of education to change behavior must then be
investigated. By improving social assertiveness and self-control it has been described by May.C(1993),
have been attempted but these also when evaluated have produced a low success rate.
Major media campaigns can be useful in raising public awareness of social problems, although
his targets a vast uncontrolled audience and does not always reach the applicable persons. It is expensive
and often a political reaction to be seen by the public as addressing a problem. The family in British
society takes on many variations and so behaviors, norms and cultures differ greatly. Parents are, however
role models to their children from infancy, throughout childhood and into adulthood. Parental behavior
and attitudes toward alcohol consumption as with any social behavior is an influential factor that may
determine adolescent drinking behavior and indeed future adult drinking behavior. Foxcroft and
Lowe(1991), suggest that British parents, "are for the most part ambivalent about underage drinking and
about occasional intoxication” This is a controversial statement that may not be true in all cases. Alcohol
is however, the most widely used recreational drug in our society and it is the accepted norm that the
transition from adolescence to adulthood will include exper
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