We drink more when friends are around

Melbourne, June 26 (IANS) Drinking with mates can push young adults into drinking more, a study from Queensland University of Technology in Australia confirms.

“We found that when friends drink together their alcohol consumption can increase with four main factors being responsible,” said Ryan McAndrew from AQUT’s Business School.

“When friends drink socially, whether they know it or not, they drink more because they are mimicking their friends, they are conforming to their friends, they are winding down with their friends and they are enjoying the company of drinking with their friends,” McAndrew said.

He said the strongest predictor of alcohol consumption was copying or mimicking behaviour, followed by the desire to wind down then enjoyment and conformity.

The study, which involved more than 250 drinkers aged 18-30, also found that the gender of the participant influenced alcohol consumption with males on average drinking almost 25 standard drinks per week — double that of females who drank on average 11 standard drinks per week.

“When examining the effect of group gender composition, all-girl groups drink for the same reasons as the all-boy groups,” he said.

“This is likely to be because traditional views around female intoxication have reduced, allowing mostly female groups to adopt similar drinking practices as mostly male groups,” McAndrew said.

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