Social Norms, Alcohol Expectancies, Parental Monitoring, Parental Perceptions And Adolescent Patterns of Alcohol Consumption In Athens And Cardiff: A Cross-Cultural Analysis
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Alcohol use is widespread in many cultures and alcohol experimentation in adolescence may be construed as a ‘’normal’’ practice. However excessive adolescent alcohol consumption has potentially detrimental effects on adolescents including impaired health, academic failure and adult alcohol-related problems (Hingson et al 2009). Adolescent patterns of alcohol consumption differ across cultures. In some cases, even when similarities in consumption rates are reported, different patterns of alcohol-related problems and consequences are observed across cultures (Hibell et al 2012). These differences may not be attributed solely to biological factors but may be related to specific cultural patterns of beliefs and expectations (Heath 2000). The aim of the present thesis was to investigate the differences between the two samples in the cities of Athens (Greece) and Cardiff (Wales) in drinking patterns as well as in several key factors that have been identified in the literature as predictors of risky adolescent alcohol use and alcohol related negative consequences. Specifically this thesis investigated the differences in descriptive and injunctive norms, alcohol expectancies, parental monitoring and parental factors such as alcohol provision and parental attitudes, by utilizing a mixed- methods approach, including an adolescent self-report questionnaire and parental semi-structured interviews. Risky/hazardous alcohol-related behaviour, injunctive and personal norms, alcohol expectancies and parental monitoring elements such as parental control and child disclosure differed significantly in respect of city (Cardiff vs. Athens ) (p<0.005). A stepwise logistic regression analysis indicated that age-group, Cardiff residency, Fast Alcohol score, Parental control, Alcohol expectancies regarding Risk and Aggression/Liquid Courage/Sociability and Child disclosure were all statistically significant independent predictive factors for high Saturday alcohol consumption significantly in respect of city (Cardiff vs. Athens, p=0,012). From the thematic analysis of the semi-structured parental interviews, certain differences were highlighted in relation to parental perceptions and practises; including context-specific parental provision of alcohol at home in Cardiff and an emphasis on the perceived influence of others in relation to adolescent drinking in Athens. Several implications for policy formation and intervention strategies arise from the results. Interventions attempting to address problematic drinking in adolescence should be adapted to reflect cultural realities and targeted towards specific components such as perceived parental permissiveness and personal norms of alcohol-related behaviour.
PhD Thesis- Health Psychology
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