A report ‘Young People, Alcohol and Influences” has been published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. The report presents the findings from a major study of young people and their relationship with alcohol, and explores the wide range of influences on their drinking. It develops evidence of how different domains of influence work together, understanding their relative importance in tackling different patterns of drinking among different groups.
The study involved a survey of 5,700 teenagers aged 13–14 (Year 9) and 15–16 (Year 11) in schools in England. Data was statistically modelled to highlight the strongest influences on and predictors of young people’s drinking.
Key findings include:
The most common age for a first drink was 12 to 13; usually when with an adult and celebrating a special occasion.
70% of Year 9 students and 89% of Year 11 students have had an alcoholic drink. Regular drinking is significantly lower amongst Year 9 than Year 11 students.
Year 9 students are most likely to have been drinking alcopops, beer or lager. By Year 11, students are most likely to drink beer, lager, spirits or liqueurs. In both year groups, those drinking beer and lager are consuming much larger quantities of these drinks than any other type of drink.