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Changing Society, Changing Drinking: Solitary Drinking As A Non-pathological Behaviour.

A. Demers, C. Bourgault
Published 1996 · Psychology, Medicine

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This study describes solitary drinking as it appears in a general population. The data are derived from a telephone survey carried out in April 1993 on a representative sample of 2015 adult drinkers from the Montréal metropolitan area. Thirty-one percent of the respondents (n = 633) reported drinking without being in the company of other people. First, solitary drinking is described according to drinking contexts and drinking patterns. Secondly, a comparison of solitary drinkers with those who did not report this behaviour is presented according to socio-demographic characteristics, social representations of drinking and overall drinking patterns. Finally, a logistic regression analysis is performed to identify the main characteristics of the drinkers associated with solitary drinking. The results show that solitary drinking occurs mainly at home, at the end of the day, to accompany a meal, to mark a transition between work and leisure or to accompany a rest time. The quantity involved in solitary drinking is generally moderate. The results also show that solitary drinking is associated with gender, living alone, employment status, tension-reduction and harmful representations of drinking. However, the main predictor of solitary drinking is overall drinking frequency, indicating the constituent place of alcohol in solitary drinkers' life-style.
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