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Title: 'I have a healthy relationship with alcohol': Australian midlife women, alcohol consumption and social class.
Austin Authors: Lunnay, Belinda;Foley, Kristen;Meyer, Samantha B;Miller, Emma R;Warin, Megan;Wilson, Carlene J ;Olver, Ian N;Batchelor, Samantha;Thomas, Jessica A;Ward, Paul R
Affiliation: School of Social Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia and Fay Gale Centre for Research on Gender, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia..
School of Psychology and Public Health, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia..
School of Psychology, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia..
Research Centre of Public Health, Equity and Human Flourishing, Torrens University Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia..
College of Medicine and Public Health, Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia..
School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada..
Independent Researcher..
Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre
Issue Date: 1-Aug-2022
Publication information: Health Promotion International 2022; 37(4)
Abstract: Alcohol consumption by Australian women during midlife has been increasing. Health promotion efforts to reduce alcohol consumption in order to reduce alcohol-related disease risk compete with the social contexts and value of alcohol in women's lives. This paper draws on 50 qualitative interviews with midlife women (45-64 years of age) from different social classes living in South Australia in order to gain an understanding of how and why women might justify their relationships with alcohol. Social class shaped and characterized the different types of relationships with alcohol available to women, structuring their logic for consuming alcohol and their ability to consider reducing (or 'breaking up with') alcohol. We identified more agentic relationships with alcohol in the narratives of affluent women. We identified a tendency for less control over alcohol-related decisions in the narratives of women with less privileged life chances, suggesting greater challenges in changing drinking patterns. If classed differences are not attended to in health promotion efforts, this might mitigate the effectiveness of alcohol risk messaging to women.
DOI: 10.1093/heapro/daac097
ORCID: 0000-0002-9103-0445
Journal: Health Promotion International
PubMed URL: 36000531
PubMed URL:
Type: Journal Article
Subjects: alcohol
disease prevention
social class
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

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