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Individualism Can Be a Risk Factor for Alcoholism

A new study published suggests that individualists have a higher predisposition for problem drinking.

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Researchers of the University of Texas-San Antonio looked into the potential links of individualism and collectivism in a state or country to the area's alcohol consumption. They found that the higher a region scored on valuing individualism, the greater their beer and alcohol consumption, and this was true even when taking into account the effects of other variables such as income, climate, gender and religion, they wrote.

The study used archival data to compare beer and alcohol consumption among various countries and states within the United States. The researchers found that individualism, on a whole-country basis, could significantly predict alcohol consumption. In the United States, individualism correlated with teen drinking, teen heavy drinking, and adult binge drinking.

From the archived data, the researchers moved on to looking into the cultural orientations of the respondents. They asked the subjects about their thoughts on life whether they enjoy being in the company of other people and their perception of relationships. The subjects we're asked about their perception on enjoying life on their own (independent self-construal) as well as on enjoying relationships with other people including their families and friends (interdependent self-construal). The authors wrote, We found that people who we're temporarily induced to have an independent self-construal we're more receptive to immediate beer consumption that we're people who we're temporarily induced to have an interdependent self-construal.

The study also suggests that those who are more interdependent or socially inclined did not manifest a high predisposition for excessive alcohol intake when they are in the company of other people. The authors of the said study conclude, The results suggest that people with collectivistic cultural orientations tend to be more motivated to regulate impulsive consumption tendencies than those with individualistic cultural orientations, which in turn makes them less likely to engage in beer or alcohol consumption.

The study reinforces the idea that being in healthy social relationships can keep a person from binge drinking. Alcoholics are known to keep to themselves and as part of treatment, it's a good idea to train them to interact with other people so they can curb alcohol cravings.

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Posted in Senior Health Post Date 08/28/2018


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