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Individualism May Influence Predisposition for Excessive Alcohol Intake

People who keep to themselves are more likely to have to contend with problem drinking as compared to those who opt to be in the company of peers. This is what a new study published in the Journal for Consumer Research found when it looked into the relation between the prevalence of individualism and the potential for problem drinking.

The study looked into the factors that make citizens of particular states and counties more prone to excessive alcohol intake. “We looked at the extent to which consumer levels of individualism (vs. collectivism) were related o their beer and alcohol consumption,” co-authors Yinlong Zhang and L.J Shrum wrote. Both researchers are from the University of Texas-San Antonio.

The researchers found that “the higher a region scored on valuing individualism, the greater their beer and alcohol consumption.”The same findings hold true even when certain factors such as income, religion, climate and gender were taken into consideration in relation to a group’s potential for problem drinking.

Zhang and Shrum based the study from archival data gathered with regards to the beer and alcohol consumption in various states in the United States as well as in several different countries. They compared the data and found that country-wide individualism can predict the given group’s predisposition for alcoholism. The study found that the individualist mindset is correlated to certain issues such as teen drinking, adolescent heavy drinking and binge drinking among adults.

Cultural orientations were then added into the study by asking the respondents a set of questions about their perception of how they enjoy life. The researchers asked them about whether they’d prefer to be on their own (independent self-construal) or in the company of friends or family (interdependent self-construal). The subjects were also asked about their opinions about having a good time with other people in their community.

“We found that people who were temporarily induced to have an independent self-construal were more receptive to immediate beer consumption than were the people who were temporarily induced to have an interdependent self-construal,” the researchers wrote.

The study concluded that those who were socially active were less likely to go binge drinking when they are with their peers. Individualism influences impulsive consumptions.

For more on this study and other alcohol treatment related research, browse further into Miramar Recovery Center. Here at Miramar, we offer individualized alcohol abuse treatment to cater to the specific needs of our clients. Contact us through this website for information.

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