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A study of drinking practices in three British Columbia cities Cutler, Ronald Earl

Abstract

Previous research has established that there are large regional and demographic differences in drinking practices. The present study was designed to extend this research by conducting a survey of drinking practices of residents in three British Columbia cities located in widely separated regions of the province and differing in demographic composition. A total of 849 subjects, randomly selected from among the general population in each city, were interviewed in their homes. A comprehensive questionnaire, including several standard measures of levels of drinking and problem drinking as well as measures of neuroticism, extroversion and items relating to drug use, smoking and subject's perception of drinking, was employed. Levels of drinking were compared across cities and the levels obtained for the three cities combined were compared to levels found for other samples drawn from among populations in North America and elsewhere.. Levels of drinking were related to demographic, personality and other variables within the combined sample and compared with the extent of these relationships found in previous studies. A consistent pattern of differences was found between the three cities samples. Drinking, heavy drinking and problem drinking were found to be more prevalent in these three cities relative to most other North American samples. Rates were found, on all measures of drinking, to be higher in Rivertown--the city which had undergone rapid expansion during the past decade. Age, sex and income were found to be closely related to levels of drinking. These results were discussed within the framework of a schematic model which speculates about possible relationships and interrelationships between a number of variables and levels of drinking.

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