Experience of harm from others' drinking amongst risky drinking adolescents across Australia

Tina Lam, Anne-Marie Laslett, Tanya Chikritzhs, Simon Lenton, William Gilmore, Wenbin Liang, Ines Pandzic, Rowan Ogeil, Alexandra Aiken, Lucinda Burns, Belinda Lloyd, Dan J Lubman, Richard P Mattick, Raimondo Bruno, Jane Fischer, Allan Trifonoff, Ann Roche, Caroline Salom, Rosa Alati, Richard MidfordSteve Allsop

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Introduction: In addition to harms due to their own alcohol use, risky drinking young people are particularly vulnerable to consequences attributable to other people's drinking. The harms to others literature on adolescents is scant, and we aimed to provide insight into a range of alcohol related secondary harms not otherwise documented.

Methods: Participants were 14‐19 years old, and screened as the riskiest drinking 25% of their age cohort. Face‐to‐face interviews were conducted in 2016‐17 in all eight Australian capital cities (n=600), supplemented by online surveys (n=2300). Past 12 month experience of 13 harms due others’ drinking were assessed in relation to age, gender, alcohol and other drug use, harm reduction strategy use, and experience of physical punishment as a child.

Results: Females were more likely to experience a greater range of the 13 harms (e.g. 41% of females reported being harassed or bothered at a party or some other private setting compared to 34% of males). Males were more likely to experience more tangible harms such as being physically hurt (11% vs 17%). Older teenagers were more likely to experience harassment in public settings and unwanted sexual attention. Harms were perpetrated by strangers and people the respondents knew at similar rates.

Conclusion: Younger people who are also risky drinkers were particularly susceptible to experiencing harms from others; childhood physical punishment compounded this vulnerability. Many of these harms are not reported elsewhere, for example, as they occurred in private locations.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2017
EventAustralasian Professional Society on Alcohol and Other Drugs Conference 2017: APSAD Scientific Alcohol and Drug Conference - Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 12 Nov 201715 Nov 2017
https://ashm.eventsair.com/QuickEventWebsitePortal/apsad2017/home (Conference website)


ConferenceAustralasian Professional Society on Alcohol and Other Drugs Conference 2017
Abbreviated titleAPSAD 2017
Internet address

Bibliographical note

Editorial material and organization © 2017 Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs.Copyright of individual abstracts remains with the authors.


  • teenagers
  • Risk-taking
  • drinking behaviours
  • Australia


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