The Influence of Attachment Styles and Motivation Behind Binge Drinking
Submitted as a PSS220 Lab Report for Swinburne University Lilydale
This study examines attachment styles and the influence different motives have on binge drinking in young adults between 18 and 30 year olds. There were 238 Swinburne University students and 103 non-students who participated in this study, all participants answered a questionnaire on attachment, motives and the amount of alcoholic drinks consumed on a typical night out. It was hypothesised that insecure attachment styles are more likely to drink at risky levels on a typical night out than secure individuals and that motives influence insecure attachments and the amount of alcohol consumed. It was concluded that different motives influence insecure attachment to drink at higher levels than secure individuals, although no conclusion could be reached for the amount of alcohol consumed on a typical night out for secure and insecure individuals.
Drinking among young adults is becoming more and more wide spread. Adolescents and young adults are starting to drink earlier and drink heavier than ever before. This is becoming a problem on our streets with alcohol related violence, accidents and fatalities also on the rise. Many young adults are taking part in binge drinking activities, and there is no apparent solution as to how to reduce the occurrence of binge drinking or what types of intervention programs may help. Binge drinking is drinking at above high risk levels of 7 or more standard drinks per sitting for males and 5 or more standard drinks per sitting for females. The drinks of choice for young adults are full strength beers for males, where females tend to choose bottled spirits and liqueurs, these are easy to drink and very potent (Australian bureau of statistics 2006). A study by NDSHS (2004 as cited in Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006) showed that at the age of 14 +, 40% of boys and 31% of girls had an episode of binge drinking in the previous 12 months., and that 18 to 24 year olds are more likely to participate in high risk binge drinking. Alcohol is a drug that lowers inhibitions, is associated with impulsive anger and aggression and can lead to poor school and job performances. (Vik, Carrello, Tate & field 2000). But why do young adults choose to drink in this way, do they drink to conform to social norms of peers, or do they choose peers with the same attitudes to drinking as themselves (Cooper 1994)? In a study by brown and Finn (1982 as cited in Cooper) it was found that younger adults were more likely than their older peers to drink to conform to the social norms. On the other hand Cooper found that the young adults are not only drinking in social environments but as a way to cope with stressors, these young adults lack the skills to cope in a more adaptive ways. Sadly using alcohol as a way to cope can lead to further deterioration in the ability to cope and can cause an increase in alcohol dependency. A lot of the drinking problems with young adults whether they be binge drinking or dependency are often done socially in a group. Part of the problem with young adults drinking is often linked to their attachments to their parents. It has been found that the relationship with the mother or primary care giver serves as the blueprint for future primary attachments; it also creates the rules and lessons for how to cope when experiencing distressing emotions. When adolescent or young adults come to the stage to make the transition from mother or primary care giver to a life partner as a primary attachment figure their perceptions of themselves will alter and they will experiment with a range of behaviours not in the least risky behaviours which often include binge drinking (Cooper, Shaver & Collins, 1998) There are two main attachment styles, secure and insecure attachment ; Secure attachment; uses the primary care giver...
References: Australian Bureau of Statistics.(2006, August 25). Alcohol Consumption in Australia: A Snapshot, 2004-05. . Retrieved from http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/mf/4832.0.55.001
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