Supervisor: Dr Nyanda McBride, NDRI
Co-supervisor: Dr Tina Lam, Monash Addiction Research Centre, Monash University
The aim of this study is to describe the social and economic impact of non-parental supply of alcohol to youth under the age of 18 years.
Identify categories of non-parental supply of alcohol to youth under the age of 18 years; Define the relationship between non-parental ‘others’ who supply youth with alcohol, and youth who receive alcohol; Describe the range of potential risks and harms associated with non-parental supply of alcohol to youth; Identify the potential social and economic burden of non-parental supply of alcohol to youth.
Seventy-four (74%) percent of young Australians aged 12-17 years have consumed alcohol, over four times more than those who have used any form of illicit drug. Over a fifth of young people who consume alcohol are at risk of an injury for each single drinking occasion. These high consumption and prevalence levels have resulted in the association of alcohol with the three leading causes of mortality among young people (unintentional injuries, homicide and suicide) and as the leading risk factor for premature death and disability for secondary school aged youth 15-18 year olds. More years of potential life, quality of life, and productivity are lost from acute alcohol related events experienced by young people than those lost to chronic diseases associated with alcohol use in older drinkers.
In Australia, alcohol accounts for 3.3% of the total burden of disease, and contributes 65% of the drug related burden of disease (compared to 19% for tobacco and 16% for illicit drugs). Conservative estimates of the financial burden of alcohol on society, through the increased costs of health care, policing, absenteeism and other social problems, is reported at AU$35 billion, and approximately $1743 per capita per annum. Small disruptions in drinking trajectories have the potential to have significant impact on morbidity, mortality and economic consequences, with economic modelling suggesting that even modest long-term reductions in alcohol use would lead to substantial societal benefits.
Recent Australian research provides evidence that non-parental (‘others’) supply of alcohol to young people results in higher levels of binge drinking and alcohol related harm than other forms of supply including parental supply. However, knowledge about ‘others’ who supply to youth, their motivation, and the impact of supply beyond drinking dimensions is relatively unknown.
This study will use mixed methods to assess the prevalence, relationships, and social and economic impacts of non-parental supply of alcohol to underage youth.
Participants will be education based students (recruited through university and TAFE) 18 years and older who will be asked to reflect on their experiences of: 1) being supplied alcohol by non-parental ‘others’ (recent supply up to two years), and 2) their own current supply of alcohol to young people under the age of 18 years.
Surveys and in-depth interviews will be used to gather quantitative and qualitative data. Questions will include: demographics; psychological assessment; current alcohol and other drug use questions; secondary supply questions (knowledge, attitude, behavioural intentions, behaviours); experiences of being supplied when younger than 18 years of age (circumstances, quantity/frequency of supply and alcohol by type; harms, event association, age at first supply); experiences of supplying to someone younger than 18 years of age (circumstances, quantity/frequency of supply and alcohol by type; harms, event association, age at first supply); event specific questions (define possible events, low and high severity harms, effect on other supply events – own as youth, and supply to youth); potential strategies to reduce non-parental supply to youth under the age of 18 years.
Quantitative analysis will use multilevel/hierarchical regression modelling to examine the extent to which early experiences of being supplied with alcohol by someone other than a parent is associated with later supply to someone younger than 18 years of age. Latent growth curve modelling (LGCM) within a structural equation modelling framework will be used to examine the extent to which the quantity and frequency of even specific alcohol supply can predict social and economic impacts.
Qualitative analysis using content analysis will identify and follow a chain of evidence; verify findings; make meaningful conclusions to help ensure accuracy of interpretation. Analysis will include: 1) stating the question; 2) developing a matrix of response themes; 3) describing the range of responses (both common and less common) and categorising these responses; 4) providing direct quotations to illustrate responses; 5) providing interpretive discussion; and 6) providing recommendations to policy and intervention development.
Skills and qualifications required
- Honours 1 or 2A, or Masters by Research
- Qualitative and quantitative research methodologies
- Recuitment of study participants
- Demonstrated organisational skills and ability to meet timelines
- Demonstrated writing skill
For more information or to apply please contact:
Dr Nyanda McBride
Tel: 0429 936793