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Open Access Drinking Patterns and Problems: A Search for Meaningful Interdisciplinary Studies

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The study of drinking patterns and problems is fundamentally interdisciplinary in nature, yet alcohol researchers have been slow to address pivotal disciplinary, conceptual, and methodological issues in their field. Moreover, they have uncritically imported a host of implicit assumptions about how to conceptualize and study alcohol use and its consequences.The author argues that reliance on implicit disciplinary assumptions has prevented the articulation of a general conceptual framework for studying drinking patterns and problems. Careful examination of assumptions about appropriate levels of analysis and the roles of descriptive and explanatory studies reveals a broader range of phenomena falling under the umbrella of drinking patterns and problems.The author outlines the utility of conceptualizing the research area as the descriptive and explanatory study of consumption, consequences, and problem identification at intra-individual, inter-individual, community,and national levels of analysis.

Document Type: Short Communication

Publication date: 2003-03-01

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