Good man, you enjoy your beer! An investigation of online forum posts on binge drinking from a health belief perspective

Saroop, Anjali
Frommherz, Gudrun
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Master of Communication Studies
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Auckland University of Technology

Binge drinking, recognized as a risky behaviour, is prevalent in adults and teenagers in major parts of the world. This study expands the understanding of people’s attitude towards binge drinking, by investigating posts on the topic made by participants of an online forum from a health behaviour perspective. The research examines whether the online forum influences change in participants’ drinking habits.The research uses an original health behaviour model derived from a number of existing health models. Findings of the study suggest that participants binge drink for several reasons, from regulating their emotions to defying moral codes. The posts on the forum were seen to influence participants to consider their binge drinking habits and support behaviour change; however not all of them appeared to be a healthy influence on participants.

The framework designed for the research may be applied by health care professionals to investigate attitudes of people towards binge drinking and accordingly guide them to healthy behaviour change. Health communication professionals can employ the framework for developing communication campaigns against binge drinking.

Binge drinking , Online forums , Content analysis , Health behaviour models , Alcohol , New Zealand
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