Parke, H, Michalska, M, Russell, A, Moss, AC, Holdsworth, CM, Ling, J and Larsen, J (2018) Understanding drinking among midlife men in the United Kingdom: A systematic review of qualitative studies. Addictive Behaviors Reports. ISSN 2352-8532

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Objectives This study reviews qualitative research into the sociocultural meanings and subjective experiences that midlife men in the United Kingdom (UK) associate with their drinking. In the UK, average weekly alcohol consumption is highest among midlife men, and they are disproportionately affected by alcohol harm. There is increasing recognition that public health messages to support behaviour change must be based on an in-depth understanding of drinking motivations and experiences. Study design and methods Systematic literature review of studies exploring motivations for and experiences of drinking among UK men aged 45–60 using qualitative methodology. Medline, PsycINFO and the Social Science Citation Index were used, along with manual searches of key journals, Google searches and a call for evidence. The Critical Appraisal Skills Programme tool was used to quality-assess papers. Thematic synthesis was used to combine and analyse the data. Results From 5172 titles and abstracts (1995–2018), 11 publications were included, representing 6 unique studies. Five themes were identified: ‘Drinking Motivations’; ‘Drinking Justifications’; ‘Drinking Strategies and Control’; ‘Social Norms and Identity’ and ‘Harm’. Motivations for drinking among midlife men were associated with relaxation, socialising and maintenance of male friendships. They justified drinking as a choice and emphasised their ability to meet responsibilities, which they contrasted with ‘problem drinkers’. Social norms governed drinking behaviours as an expression of masculinity. Conclusion This review highlights the significance of the meanings and social importance of alcohol consumption among midlife men. Interventions using information and guidance should consider these when aiming to effectively influence the way this group drinks.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the accepted author manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Elsevier at - please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Uncontrolled Keywords: United Kingdom, Systematic review, Thematic synthesis, Alcohol Midlife men, Experience, Sociocultural meaning
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Geography, Geology and the Environment
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2018 14:34
Last Modified: 14 Aug 2018 14:35

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