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Survey of teenage drinking patterns in school district #36 (Surrey), British Columbia Cleathero, Bernard Stuart


Many parents and teachers are expressing concern about the drinking habits of our teenage population. At the present time there is little information available on the amount of drinking, frequency of drinking and with whom teenagers drink. The purpose of this study was to obtain as much information as was practically possible about the drinking patterns of Surrey high school students. The study utilized the single survey method to obtain information. A random sample of students was drawn from 15 Junior Secondary, Secondary and Senior Secondary schools within school district #36 (Surrey), British Columbia. 2485 letters were sent out and consequently 1013 students completed the questionnaires. 90.9% of the students surveyed had used alcohol at some time in their lives, with beer being the most regularly consumed alcoholic beverage. 27.8% of students drank to the point of being drunk, 32.4% drank once or twice a month and a further 30.3% every weekend. Parents played a role in introducing students to their first drink. They also drank with them and acted as a source of supply. 70.4% of students felt their drinking practices had no effect on their lives. Crosstabulations demonstrated there were certain different drinking practices among students when age, sex, type of school and demographic area were taken into consideration. Finally, conclusions were drawn and suggestions were mad regarding society's responsibilities towards our teenage population and their alcohol consumption habits.

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