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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


SUAREZ, Cristian et al. Adult pattern of alcohol use as perceived by adolescents. Gac Sanit [online]. 2016, vol.30, n.1, pp.11-17. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objective: To identify the views of a sample of adolescents on the pattern of alcohol consumption shown by adults in their social environment. Method: A qualitative study was conducted using the method proposed by grounded theory (Glaser & Strauss, 1967). Data were collected through five discussion groups. Participants were selected by theoretical sampling in the initial and emerging phases of the study by applying criteria based on previous research. Heterogeneity-homogeneity criteria were used in the composition of the groups. The final sample consisted on 40 adolescents of both sexes between 15 and 20 years from four educational centres in Seville (Spain). Results: According to the adolescents interviewed, alcohol use was normal among adults, geared towards fun, and was linked to social gatherings and to abusive and intensive consumption including drinking spirits. Data from recent studies partly contradict adolescents' perceptions, showing a pattern of consumption in adults associated mostly with the gastronomic and social component of drink and with moderate intake of beer and wine. Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that adolescents may have a distorted view of the reality of adult patterns of alcohol use. As an explanation, we hypothesize that, faced with conflicting information, adolescents prioritize the information that best fits their view of what is socially acceptable and what meets their own hedonistic and social needs.

Keywords : Adolescent; Adult; Alcohol consumption; Grounded theory.

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