Alcohol consumption patterns and employment status during a period of economic uncertainty

Carter, Sandra Marie (2001) Alcohol consumption patterns and employment status during a period of economic uncertainty. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

Alcohol overuse has been implicated in individual / family dysfunction and high health care costs. Controversy exists regarding whether unemployment poses a risk indicator for increasing alcohol consumption. An economic framework postulates that drinking will decrease upon unemployment due to economic constraint. A psychosocial framework indicates that drinking will increase upon unemployment as a result of increased stress. -- This descriptive design utilized a secondary analysis of data from the health section of a large interdisciplinary study. The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether there were differences in drinking patterns by employment status in a random sample (N=564) of participants residing in the Bonavista Headland and the Isthmus of the Avalon Peninsula upon the closure of the Atlantic cod fishery. Theoretical triangulation was used to investigate which framework (economic or psychosocial), if any, best explained alcohol consumption. One strength of this study was that it measured economic strain, psychological stress, and the use of alcohol to cope with stress as potential key moderating factors for alcohol consumption. Previous research has suggested that these are important moderating factors. Alcohol use was measured using standardized criteria and data were analyzed to identify both differences in general alcohol patterns as well as in the presence of "at-risk" drinking. -- The study found no significant difference in alcohol consumption by employment status; whether among the total sample or the subsample of drinkers only. However, findings suggested that the unemployed tended to drink more frequently and in higher quantities than their employed counterparts. There were very few "at-risk" drinkers in either employment grouping. Although there may be no association between alcohol consumption and employment status, differences may have been masked by a culture of low alcohol consumption, high stress levels by both the unemployed and the employed, or a lack of reliance on alcohol to cope with stress. Implications for nursing practice, education, and research are presented.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/9025
Item ID: 9025
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 91-97.
Department(s): Nursing, School of
Date: 2001
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador--Trinity Bay Region; Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador--Bonavista Bay Region
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Drinking of alcoholic beverages--Newfoundland and Labrador--Trinity Bay Region; Rural population--Alcohol use--Newfoundland and Labrador--Trinity Bay Region; Drinking of alcoholic beverages--Newfoundland and Labrador--Bonavista Bay Region; Rural population--Alcohol use--Newfoundland and Labrador--Bonavista Bay Region; Alcohol Drinking; Employment; Rural Population

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