Patterns of alcohol consumption in a Northern Irish sample

Adele McKinney, Kieran Coyle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the drinking habits of a Northern Irish sample during a six-month period in 1998. In addition the study examines the influence of contextual variables on the quantity and frequency of alcohol consumption. Questionnaires were administered to 600 participants; the response rate was 39.8% (239). An unexpected low abstinence rate was observed that, however, may be due to response bias. The results revealed high frequency (29.7% drink on four or more days a week) and high quantity of alcohol consumption (mean units per week 43.21, SD 40.33). Beer drinkers consumed the largest quantity of alcohol and also had the highest frequency of alcohol consumption. It was observed that 45.8% of all drinking events took place in a public bar and the popularity of the public bar for alcohol consumption was not influenced by age or gender. The present investigation revealed that almost half (45%) of individuals consume more than one type of beverage at one sitting, and there is a trend of consuming alcohol in more than one place during a single drinking session. These results indicate a distinctive drinking pattern within Northern Ireland and have implications for studies investigating the effects of alcohol on the social drinker.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)573-579
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2005


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