Rural Youth and Alcohol Use

Thompson, Jean
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Guelph

By exploring the reflections University of Guelph students had on their high school drinking experiences, this thesis discusses themes that provide insights into the contexts of rural youth drinking practices in Ontario. While these themes are not generalizable beyond the study, they do speak to common phenomena that contribute to a deeper understanding of alcohol use amongst rural youth. Expectedly, several social and cultural factors influenced where, when, and with whom participants first and then subsequently used alcohol. These factors included ethnicity and religion, rurality, gender, and elements of the North American high school experience. Relationships, both existing prior to alcohol use and because of it, also impacted the ways in which participants used alcohol. Finally, deterrents to alcohol use are discussed noting that none were successful in encouraging any of the participants to abstain completely from alcohol, and their effectiveness at reducing harms was not measured in this study.

rural youth, substance use, alcohol