'Everyone was wasted'! Insights from adolescents' alcohol experience narratives
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Purpose: This paper aims to examine the socialization of alcohol through a reflective writing task within a social marketing program delivered to adolescents. The aim was to elicit adolescents’ experiences and perceptions of alcohol and investigate cognitions, emotions, attitudes’ and behaviors regarding alcohol. Design/methodology/approach: This study used a qualitative approach in which 1,214 adolescents aged 14 to 16 years were invited to write a story about an experience that involved alcohol. Data were qualitatively coded, and themes were discerned by an inductive analytic process. Findings: Adolescents’ perceptions of alcohol were arranged along a continuum from mere description with little analysis to reasoned reflection and cognition. Qualitatively different socializing agents, learning situations, processes and effects of learning were apparent in the narratives. Family roles influenced adolescents’ perceptions and experiences of alcohol. Research limitations/implications: This study supports the use of narratives and reflective introspection tasks as methods that uncover insights into the socialization of alcohol among adolescents. Findings provide guidance to social marketers and alcohol educators for future program design. By understanding the continuum of developing socializations toward alcohol, social marketers can effectively engage adolescents and design targeted programs involving key social learning variables that shape adolescents’ perceptions and experiences with alcohol. Originality/value: Narratives provide a research methodology that can bring consumer voice to inform scenarios that can be delivered in future program design.
Marketing not elsewhere classified
Developmental Psychology and Ageing