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Perception of Excessive Drinking Among Irish College Students: A Mixed Methods Analysis


  • Liam Delaney

    (Senior Researcher, Geary Institute, University College Dublin)

  • Colm Harmon

    (School of Economics & Geary Institute, University College Dublin)

  • Claire Milner

    (DClin Programme Trinity College Dublin)

  • Lorna Sweeney

    (Geary Institute, University College Dublin)

  • Pat Wall

    (Geary Institute + School of Public Health & Population Science, University College Dublin)


This paper examines students’ perceptions of excessive drinking using statistical vignettes based on standard alcohol misuse markers used in the WHO Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT). Quantitative analyses revealed stark heterogeneity in students’ perceptions of alcohol excess both in terms of their own self-rated excessiveness and in terms of their general conceptions of excessiveness. Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) of focus group data with student drinkers revealed four themes mediating perception of excess: Perception of Normal Drinking; Perceived Indicators of Excess; Reactions to Alcohol Guidelines; Justifications for Excessive Alcohol Consumption.

Suggested Citation

  • Liam Delaney & Colm Harmon & Claire Milner & Lorna Sweeney & Pat Wall, 2007. "Perception of Excessive Drinking Among Irish College Students: A Mixed Methods Analysis," Working Papers 200712, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:200712

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    Mixed Methods; Alcohol; Vignettes; Student Health; Focus Groups;

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