|dc.description.abstract||This thesis examines the issue of young people and alcohol consumption in order to
understand their behaviour and experiences in Thailand. Alcohol consumption is
socially accepted as a pleasurable activity in many countries world-wide. Alcohol
consumption among young people in Thailand has been affected by the spread of
western culture, which has encouraged an acceptance of drinking alcohol as being
fashionable and as a means of promoting social relationships. This study aimed to gain
detailed knowledge of the alcohol consumption behaviour of secondary school
students in Petchaburi Province, Thailand, using a survey and participatory action
research to understand the perspectives of a variety of stakeholders in one community
towards young people’s behaviour and alcohol consumption.
Both quantitative and qualitative methods were adopted in order to explore and
interpret students’ and stakeholders’ perspectives. The survey was the first phase of
the research and used a questionnaire to identify the characteristics and problems of
the alcohol consumption behaviour of 845 secondary school students aged 15-19
sampled from one school in each of the eight districts of Petchaburi Province. Logistic
regression was used to select one school for conducting Participatory Action Research
(PAR) in one community “C” in phase two of the research. An ecological approach
was applied for capturing a variety of perspectives, at the intrapersonal, interpersonal,
institutional, community, and public policy level using focus groups and in-depth
interviews with eight students, eight parents, three health professionals, two teachers,
one community leader, one policeman and one Buddhist monk.
The study findings demonstrated that alcohol consumption among young people was
common. The data showed that 45.9% of participants had had an alcoholic drink in the
previous thirty days. Students usually drank on Fridays and Saturdays with their gangs.
All or almost all of their close friends were reported as having an alcoholic drink. Most
students were affected by peer pressure, some students copied their family members’
drinking behaviour, and some of them were influenced by fashion, community culture
and advertising. Moreover, students who drank alcohol demonstrated the negative
consequences of drinking.
Drinking at an early age was defined by all stakeholders in the selected Community C
as unpleasant and intolerable behaviour. Students started to develop strategies in order
to access alcohol. Moreover, alcohol was readily available due to the lack of
restrictions being enforced in community shops by government policy, alongside
inconsistent enforcement of the Alcohol Act.
The development of prevention strategies was recommended for action at all levels.
This includes within families, in schools, and within affected communities through the
introduction of policies such as the restriction of alcohol sales and advertising, and by
raising awareness among young people and their communities. Finally, Buddhist
practices were discussed as a key element in the development of an intervention
programme to reduce the problematic drinking behaviour of young people.||en