Autonomy, special offers and routines: a Q methodological study of industry-driven marketing influences on young people's drinking behaviour

Stephanie Scott*, Rachel Baker, Janet Shucksmith, Eileen Kaner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Aim
To identify shared patterns of views in young people relating to the influence of industry‐driven alcohol marketing (price, promotion, product and place of purchase/consumption) on their reported drinking behaviour.

Design
Q methodology harnessed qualitative and quantitative data to generate distinct clusters of opinions as follows: 39 opinion statements were derived from earlier in‐depth qualitative interviews with 31 young people; by‐person factor analysis was carried out on 28 participants' (six previous interviewees and 22 new recruits) rank orderings of these statements (most‐to‐least agreement); interpretation of the factor arrays was aided by 10–15‐minute debriefing interviews held immediately following each Q‐sort.

Setting
Northeast England

Participants
Young people aged 14–17 years purposively recruited from high schools, higher education colleges, youth centres and youth offending teams.

Findings
Centroid factor extraction and varimax rotation of factors generated three distinct accounts: factor one (‘autonomous, sophisticated consumers’) illustrated a self‐defined sense of individuality and autonomy in alcohol choices; factor two (‘price‐driven consumers’) appeared price‐led, choosing to drink what was most accessible or cheapest; and factor three (‘context‐focused consumers’) described drinking practices where products were chosen to serve specific functions such as being easy to carry while dancing.

Conclusions
Considering young people's views on alcohol marketing, different perspectives can be identified. These include perceived imperviousness to maketing, responsiveness to price and affordability and responsiveness to marketing focusing on youth lifestyles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1833–1844
Number of pages12
JournalAddiction
Volume109
Issue number11
Early online date21 Jul 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014

Keywords

  • alcohol marketing
  • young people
  • drinking behaviour
  • Q methodology

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