Staying in the ‘sweet spot’: A resilience-based analysis of the lived experience of low-risk drinking and abstention among British youth
Design: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 25 moderate- or non-drinkers aged 17–25 years (13 young women) living in South East England. Interviews explored recent experiences of social situations and encounters that did or did not involve alcohol. Transcripts were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis.
Results: Analysis identified six conceptually coherent themes clustering within a superordinate theme of a healthy experience of moderate alcohol use or abstention: ‘the sweet spot’. These themes were: feeling good in the body, feeling like you can be who you are, feeling like you belong, making a free choice, enjoying the moment, and feeling safe and secure.
Conclusions: This resilience-based analysis showed how non-drinking and moderate-drinking may be experienced as a positive and proactive choice. Understanding the subjective experiences of young people may aid development of specific, realistic interventions to promote moderate drinking and abstention among young people in drinking cultures.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: School of Psychology, University of Sussex, Falmer, UK 2: University of Exeter Medical School, Exeter, UK 3: Division of Primary Care and Public Health, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, University of Brighton, Falmer, UK 4: Community University Partnership Programme, University of Brighton, Falmer, UK 5: MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK
Publication date: January 2, 2016