Can Positive Faith-Based Encounters Influence Australian Young People's Drinking Behaviours?

Alison Hutton, Dean Whitehead, Shahid Ullah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Alcohol-related accidents and injuries occur disproportionately within young people--especially when gathering at social events. This study represents a partnership between a faith-based group of volunteers specifically trained to counsel and support young people to reduce their risk of alcohol-related harm, Adelaide City Council, and the South Australian Police Force aimed at reducing risk-related alcohol consumption in a metropolitan nightclub district area. It posits that supporting young people to party safely, alongside positive community engagement, may deter unsafe consumption practices--such as pre-loading and binge-drinking. Methods: Retrospective online survey evaluated the impact on attitudes of young people who received the intervention. Results: Findings suggest volunteers were perceived as positive role models who demonstrated a genuine sense of care and ability to support. As a result, one-third of respondents identified potentially more carefully pre-plan their drinking behaviour on their next night out. Conclusion: This study demonstrates that young people are responsive to positive interventions and that future pre-planning may become a more natural part of their party routine--resulting in less likelihood of alcohol-related risk. The outcome measure, that young people's intentions to moderate their drinking as a result of positive encounters, is an important one.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-431
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Education Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 2017


  • Australia
  • Drinking; Health Behavior; Religion; Religious Fac

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