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    A cross-national study of predrinking motives in Spain and the UK: cross-sectional associations with risk-taking and alcohol consumption

    Lowe, Robert ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5699-4126, Monk, Rebecca L, Qureshi, Adam W, Fernandez-Montalvo, Javier and Heim, Derek (2023) A cross-national study of predrinking motives in Spain and the UK: cross-sectional associations with risk-taking and alcohol consumption. Addictive Behaviors, 141. 107641. ISSN 0306-4603

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    This study contrasts young people's predrinking in two European cultural contexts: Spain and the UK. Whilst UK predrinking typically occurs amongst small groups of individuals who already know one another, the distinctive Spanish context of the Botellón details a far larger gathering in which participants may be less likely to know each other. As such, predrinking motives which drive consumption and risk-taking may be expected to vary between these cultures. An online questionnaire (N = 397; UK = 167, Spain = 230) was used to examine a variety of drinking behaviours and associated beliefs/motivations including predrinking motivations, drinking behaviour, and risk taking. Path analysis was used to analyse both direct and indirect relationships between the measures with the aim of predicting problem alcohol consumption with the most parsimonious model. Varying (in)direct paths were observed between predrinking motives and alcohol consumption between the cultures. Most notably and pointing towards inconsistency in the drivers of young adults' drinking, fun predrinking motives featured prominently among Spanish respondents and predicted their reported consumption (not so in the UK), while conviviality was a more prevalent predrinking motive in the UK sample and associated with alcohol consumption (not the case in Spain). Further, (personal) risky behaviour and risk-taking predicted consumption in both samples, suggesting the importance of group norms and behaviours in predrinking activity, irrespective of alcohol consumption. These findings highlight the potential importance of the environment in which young people predrink. Given their importance in shaping alcohol consumption and risk taking in young people, cultural differences in predrinking contexts and motives warrant further investigation.

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