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Can positive faith-based encounters influence Australian young people’s drinking behaviours?

Hutton, A, Whitehead, D ORCID: 0000-0003-4131-4594 and Ullah, S 2017 , 'Can positive faith-based encounters influence Australian young people’s drinking behaviours?' , Health Education Journal, vol. 76, no. 4 , 423 –431 , doi:

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Purpose: Alcohol-related accidents and injuries occur disproportionately within young people – especially when gathering at social events. This study represents a partnership between a faith-based group of volunteers specifically trained to counsel and support young people to reduce their risk of alcohol-related harm, Adelaide City Council, and the South Australian Police Force aimed at reducing risk-related alcohol consumption in a metropolitan nightclub district area. It posits that supporting young people to party safely, alongside positive community engagement, may deter unsafe consumption practices – such as pre-loading and binge-drinking. Methods: Retrospective online survey evaluated the impact on attitudes of young people who received the intervention. Results: Findings suggest volunteers were perceived as positive role models who demonstrated a genuine sense of care and ability to support. As a result, one-third of respondents identified potentially more carefully pre-plan their drinking behaviour on their next night out. Conclusion: This study demonstrates that young people are responsive to positive interventions and that future pre-planning may become a more natural part of their party routine – resulting in less likelihood of alcohol-related risk. The outcome measure, that young people’s intentions to moderate their drinking as a result of positive encounters, is an important one.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Hutton, A and Whitehead, D and Ullah, S
Keywords: alcohol consumption, Australia, faith-based interventions, risk, young people
Journal or Publication Title: Health Education Journal
Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.
ISSN: 0017-8969
DOI / ID Number:
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2017 the authors

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