Boys being boys : psychosocial factors associated with alcohol use among mid-adolescent males in a Durban boys' high school.
Payne, Kirsten L.
MetadataShow full item record
The challenges of adolescence include negotiating risk behaviours such as alcohol use. The high prevalence and frequency of alcohol use among adolescents has been noted with concern, as has the rapidly decreasing age of initiation. Adolescent alcohol use has been found to be associated with numerous factors at intra-personal, inter-personal and contextual levels. This study aimed to explore qualitatively the perceived underlying factors related to alcohol use and binge drinking among adolescent boys, as identified and explained by the boys themselves. Exploration of these factors was guided by Brofenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory, the Prototype/Willingness Model and Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory. The study population was comprised of male learners who were at that time in Grade 11 at the school and ranged in age from 16 to 18 years. Three focus group discussions were conducted, each comprising between 8-11 male learners, which were transcribed and analysed thematically in order to identify commonalties and variances among the responses of participants. The Nvivo software program was used to aid analysis. The findings of this study indicate that there are a variety of factors which influence adolescent alcohol use, and which operate individually as well as cumulatively. While adolescent boys are aware of the consequences of alcohol use and binge drinking, they often do not perceive themselves to be vulnerable to these risks. Protective factors include the school identity, team activities such as sports, and a sense of future. In conclusion, adolescent alcohol use is extremely complicated as it is impacted by multiple factors, and thus an awareness and greater understanding of the nature in which these factors interact are important for future interventions.