Report
Regular Pub Binge Alcohol Users Are More Likely To Be Violent

Author
Carly Lightowlers (E-mail:
Citation
Carly Lightowlers (2017): Heterogeneity in Drinking Practices in England and Wales and Its Association With Violent Behavior: A Latent Class Analysis, Substance Use & Misuse, DOI: 10.1080/10826084.2017.1307408
  • Source
    Substance Use & Misuse
  • Release date
    13/07/2017

Heterogeneity in Drinking Practices in England and Wales and Its Association With Violent Behavior: A Latent Class Analysis

Original Article

People who admit to regularly binge using alcohol at the pub are more prone to have acted violently in the past 12 months, according to the new research. The findings raise questions about what strategies can be used to reduce alcohol-related violence and suggest promise for measures to modify alcohol pricing and taxation as well as restrictions on pub licences.

Study background

Due to its association with violent outcomes, binge drinking is an ongoing public health and criminal justice concern. Media coverage of binge drinking has focused on young people, given their frequent and often public displays of drunkenness. But young drinkers are not a homogeneous group and the overuse of the term “binge drinking” overlooks the complexity of their alcohol use. Understanding who people drink with and where helps give a fuller picture of the nuances of the way young people drink and whether it’s associated with violent behaviour.

Abstract

Background

Crude single-item consumption metrics, such as “binge drinking” measures, mask the complexity and heterogeneity in young people’s alcohol use; thus limiting our understanding of young people’s alcohol consumption patterns as well as how alcohol use is associated with violent outcomes.

Objectives

The current study employed a range of consumption and contextual indicators to explore heterogeneity in young people’s (16–29 years) alcohol use practices, giving due consideration to their social nature. It also assessed to what extent heterogeneity in alcohol consumption practices was associated with violent outcomes.

Methods

Employing data from the 2006 Offending Crime and Justice Survey, three measures of alcohol consumption and nine alcohol consumption context indicators were utilized within latent class analysis to create typologies of alcohol use practices among current alcohol users in England and Wales (n = 2711) and examine their association with violent outcomes.

The validity of the typologies was also assessed on age, sex, and socio-economic status.

Results

Three discernible alcohol use profiles were identified:

  1. “regular social alcohol users” (48%),
  2. “regular pub binge alcohol users” (32%), and
  3. “moderate alcohol users” (20%).

The “regular pub binge alcohol users” were found to be more than twice as likely to commit an assault offence (odds ratio = 2.8 95% CI [1.3, 6.2]) when compared to “moderate alcohol users” and “regular social alcohol users” (odds ratio = 2.2 95% CI [1.4, 3.4]).

Conclusions

Interventions aimed at reducing alcohol-related violence ought to give due consideration to the social context of alcohol use as well as levels of consumption.

People who admit to regularly binge using alcohol at the pub are more prone to have acted violently in the past 12 months, according to the new research. The findings raise questions about what strategies can be used to reduce alcohol-related violence and suggest promise for measures to modify alcohol pricing and taxation as well as restrictions on pub licences.

Source Website: Taylor & Francis Online