Older and wiser? Men’s and women’s accounts of drinking in early mid-life

Carol Emslie, Kate Hunt, Antonia Lyons

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    67 Citations (Scopus)


    Most qualitative research on alcohol focuses on younger rather than older adults. To explore older people’s relationship with alcohol, we conducted eight focus groups with 36 men and women aged 35 to 50 years in Scotland, UK. Initially, respondents suggested that older drinkers consume less alcohol, no longer drink to become drunk and are sociable drinkers more interested in the taste than the effects of alcohol. However, as discussions progressed, respondents collectively recounted recent drunken escapades, challenged accounts of moderate drinking, and suggested there was still peer pressure to drink.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)481-496
    Number of pages16
    JournalSociology of Health and Illness
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - May 2012


    • alcohol
    • gender
    • women's health
    • men's health


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