The practice of pre-loading—drinking large amounts of alcohol rapidly in private spaces prior to socialising in the night-time economy—has come to notice recently in the study of alcohol-related harm, but no studies have explored these phenomena in Aotearoa New Zealand. We used a theoretical framework developed with public health alcohol studies for understanding drinking cultures that conceptualises patterns of behaviours as arising within a dynamic interaction between forces of hedonism, function and control. We report findings from 34 focus groups conducted with 18–25 year olds as part of a project supported by the Marsden Fund, between 2011 and 2012, to investigate drinking cultures among young people. Our thematic analyses of participants’ accounts of pre-loading show that the term is in common use, applying to a range of practices motivated by price of alcohol but influenced by the pleasures of intoxication, the importance of peer processes and certain aspects of the regulatory system. We conclude with a discussion of the usefulness of the framework and the implications of the findings for public health policy that aims to reduce alcohol consumption and the harm that arises from it.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Kotuitui: New Zealand Journal of Social Sciences Online|
|Early online date||9 Jun 2015|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|
- New Zealand
- young adults