Individualists more likely to become problem drinkers

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Washington, Nov 18 : People who tend to be socially independent and self-reliant are more likely to become problem drinkers, says a new study.

The study led by researchers from University of Texas-San Antonio has found that high levels of individualism lead to more problem drinking.

During the study, Yinlong Zhang and L.J. Shrum, compared beer and alcohol consumption within countries, and states within US.

They found that higher a region scored on valuing individualism, the greater their beer and alcohol consumption.

"We looked at the extent to which consumer levels of individualism (vs. collectivism) were related to their beer and problem alcohol consumption," wrote the authors.

"We found that the higher a region scored on valuing individualism, the greater their beer and alcohol consumption, and this was true even when taking into account the effects of other variables such as income, climate, gender, and religion," they added.

They found that individualism, on a whole-country basis, could predict alcohol consumption.

In the US, individualism correlated with teen drinking, teen heavy drinking, and adult binge drinking.

"We did this by simply asking people to either think and then write about enjoying their own life (independent self-construal) or think and then write about enjoying relationships with family and friends (interdependent selfconstrual)," the authors wrote.

"We found that people who were temporarily induced to have an independent self-construal were more receptive to immediate beer consumption than were people who were temporarily induced to have an interdependent self-construal," they added.

The study showed that people with more interdependent mindsets were less likely to over-consume when they were with peers.

"The results suggest that people with collectivistic cultural orientations tend to be more motivated to regulate impulsive consumption tendencies than those with individualistic cultural orientations, which in turn makes them less likely to engage in beer or alcohol consumption," the authors said.

The study appears in the Journal of Consumer Research.

ANI

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