The relationship between membership of a university sports group and drinking behaviour among students at English Universities

Partington, Sarah, Partington, Elizabeth, Heather, Nick, Longstaff, Fran, Allsop, Susan, Jankowski, Mark, Wareham, Helen, Stephens, Richard and Gibson, Alan St. Clair (2013) The relationship between membership of a university sports group and drinking behaviour among students at English Universities. Addiction Research & Theory, 21 (4) . pp. 339-347. ISSN 1606-6359 [Article] (doi:10.3109/16066359.2012.727508)


Aims: The primary aim is to compare members of UK university sport groups with students not engaged in UK university sport in terms of alcohol consumption and risk for alcohol-related harm. A secondary aim is to compare alcohol consumption levels and alcohol-related problems in UK university athletes in different sports and at different competitive levels.

Method: A cross-sectional survey using the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) and a demographic questionnaire was carried out with a purposive sample of 770 undergraduates (298 male, 471 female) from seven UK universities.

Results: University sport members (n = 181) had a median AUDIT score of 11.5 (interquartile range (IQR) = 8) compared to students not engaged in university sport (n = 588) median AUDIT score of 8 (IQR = 11). The difference between medians was highly significant (p < 0.01). There was a significant difference between the median scores of members of team (n = 103, median = 13, IQR = 8) and individual sports (median = 8, IQR = 11), with team sports members scoring higher on the AUDIT (p < 0.01). There were no significant differences on median AUDIT scores between athletes competing at different levels.

Conclusions: Levels of alcohol-related risk and harm are high in members of UK university sport groups. University sports members particularly team sports may be an ‘at risk group’ for alcohol-related problems and require targeted interventions. Further research is warranted comparing these student groups, and the relationship between sport type, participation level and alcohol consumption.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > London Sport Institute > Sports Psychology at the London Sport Institute
Item ID: 15592
Depositing User: Fran Longstaff
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2015 10:04
Last Modified: 09 May 2017 12:05

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