Gendered forms of responsibility and control in teenagers' views of alcohol

Laverty, L., Robinson, J. and Holdsworth, C. (2015) Gendered forms of responsibility and control in teenagers' views of alcohol. Journal of Youth Studies, 18(6), pp. 794-808. (doi: 10.1080/13676261.2014.992325)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.


There has been a shift in the most recent UK Government's Alcohol Strategy (2012) from personal responsibility towards a model of shared responsibility for young people's drinking. On closer examination of the strategy, however, it appears that rather than exonerating young people from blame, governance is merely extended to include wider partners. Using findings from nine focus groups with young people in Liverpool, UK, we explore who they believe are responsible for their drinking behaviours and how they learn to become ‘good drinkers’. Our findings show that while teenagers were aware of dominant alcohol-related messages and maintained a moral position as responsible citizens; they also negotiated and resisted norms about teenage drinking. Although both boys and girls agreed that parents were the primary responsible authority for regulating their drinking, there was gendered disagreement about personal responsibility. The girls described how they were ultimately responsible for any adverse consequences if they drank too much whilst the boys considered a wide range of partners who would be implicated. However, unlike the girls, the boys described a willingness to either abstain or moderate their alcohol intake in order to remain in control and avoid any alcohol-related trouble or harm.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Robinson, Professor Jude
Authors: Laverty, L., Robinson, J., and Holdsworth, C.
College/School:College of Social Sciences
Journal Name:Journal of Youth Studies
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1469-9680
Published Online:02 January 2015

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record