Document Detail

The role of alcohol in forging and maintaining friendships amongst Scottish men in midlife.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23316851     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: Men drink more heavily and are more likely to die from alcohol-related causes than women. Most alcohol research focuses on young drinkers. We describe the context of men's drinking in midlife and explore how alcohol is associated with the construction of masculinities.
METHOD: Qualitative research was used to examine the social context of drinking alcohol. We conducted 15 focus groups (single and mixed sex) with respondents in the west of Scotland, United Kingdom. Here we focus on the findings from 22 men aged 28 to 52 years.
RESULTS: Men regarded drinking pints of beer in the pub together as an "act of friendship" and this functioned as a hegemonically appropriate way to communicate with and support each other. However, male friends also constructed some nonhegemonic behaviors as forgivable-and indeed acceptable-while drinking alcohol together. This included practices such as the explicit discussion of emotions and mental health and the consumption of "feminine" drinks under certain circumstances (e.g., in private, with close friends).
CONCLUSIONS: This exploration of drinking reveals the fluidity of gender constructions-and the strategic ways in which men take up positions around hegemonic masculinity-in midlife. The close interweaving of drinking pints in the pub with notions of male friendship could lead to both health-damaging (excessive drinking) and potentially health-promoting (social support) behaviors. Health promotion experts need to be sensitive to cultural constructions of gender to address the high rates of drinking in this age group.
Carol Emslie; Kate Hunt; Antonia Lyons
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Health psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association     Volume:  32     ISSN:  1930-7810     ISO Abbreviation:  Health Psychol     Publication Date:  2013 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-01-15     Completed Date:  2013-08-26     Revised Date:  2014-02-20    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8211523     Medline TA:  Health Psychol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  33-41     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved.
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MeSH Terms
Alcohol Drinking / psychology*
Focus Groups
Friends / psychology*
Gender Identity
Great Britain
Middle Aged
Qualitative Research
Social Behavior
Grant Support
5TK50//Medical Research Council; MC_U130059811//Medical Research Council

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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