La Trobe
Supranational changes in drinking - as accepted AR&T-4 Nov 2019.pdf (270.6 kB)

Supranational changes in drinking patterns: factors in explanatory models of substantial and parallel social change

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posted on 2023-12-05, 05:03 authored by Robin RoomRobin Room, TK Greenfield, J Holmes, L Kraus, Michael LivingstonMichael Livingston, Amy PennayAmy Pennay, J Törrönen
Background: That there have been ‘long waves’ of consumption in parallel in different societies has previously been noted. Now there is a sustained drop in drinking among youth in most of Europe, Australia and North America. Can such changes be understood in a common frame? In terms of inexorable historical phenomena or forces, like Kondratieff waves? In terms of generational shifts, with a younger generation reacting against the habits of an older? Method: Such conceptual models for understanding the dynamics of social change are examined in terms of their potential contribution in explaining when and how substantial changes in levels of consumption occur roughly in concert in different societies, with particular reference to the decline in drinking and heavy drinking in current youth cohorts. Results and Conclusion: Timing tends to rule out economic change as a factor in the current widespread decline in youth drinking. The technological revolution of the electronic web and the smart phone seems a primary explanation, with the widespread change in social presentation and interaction — in habitus — between parents and children also involved. Directions for further research are suggested.


RR received support from the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education in Australia, and from the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare [Forte, grant 2016-00313]. TG was supported by grants P50 AA005595 and R01 AA023870 from the US National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. JH is supported by the Wellcome Trust [208090/Z/17/Z] and the Economic and Social Research Council [ES/R005257/1]. Funding for LK was provided by Forte in Sweden [grant no 2016-00313] and the German Ministry of Health [ZMVI1-2517DSM200]. Funding for JT was provided by FORTE [grant no 2016-00313]. ML is supported by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council [GNT1123840]. AP is supported by the Australian Research Council [DE190101074].


Publication Date



Addiction Research and Theory






7p. (p. 467-473)


Taylor & Francis



Rights Statement

This is an Accepted Manuscript version of the following article, accepted for publication in Addiction Research & Theory. Robin Room, Thomas K. Greenfield, John Holmes, Ludwig Kraus, Michael Livingston, Amy Pennay & Jukka Törrönen (2020) Supranational changes in drinking patterns: factors in explanatory models of substantial and parallel social change, Addiction Research & Theory, 28:6, 467-473, DOI: 10.1080/16066359.2019.1689963. It is deposited under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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