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  • 1. Callinan, Sarah
    et al.
    Laslett, Anne-Marie
    Rekve, Dag
    Room, Robin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD). La Trobe University, Australia.
    Waleewong, Orratai
    Benegal, Vivek
    Casswell, Sally
    Florenzano, Ramon
    Hoang, Thi
    Vu, Thi
    Hettige, Siri
    Huckle, Taisia
    Ibanga, Akanidomo
    Obot, Isidore
    Rao, Girish
    Siengsounthone, Latsamy
    Rankin, Georgia
    Thamarangsi, Thaksaphon
    Alcohol's harm to others: An international collaborative project2016In: The international journal of alcohol and drug research, ISSN 1925-7066, Vol. 5, no 2, p. 25-32Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Aims: This paper outlines the methods of a collaborative population survey project measuring the range and magnitude of alcohol's harm to others internationally. Setting: Seven countries participating in the World Health Organization (WHO) and ThaiHealth Promotion Foundation (ThaiHealth) research project titled The Harm to Others from Drinking, along with two other countries with similar studies, will form the core of a database which will incorporate data from other countries in the future. Measures: The WHO-ThaiHealth research project developed two comparable versions of a survey instrument, both measuring harm from others' drinking to the respondent and the respondent's children. Design: Surveys were administered via face-to-face methods in seven countries, while similar surveys were administered via computer-assisted telephone interviews in two additional countries. Responses from all surveys will be compiled in an international database for the purpose of international comparisons. Discussion: Harms from the alcohol consumption of others are intertwined with the cultural norms where consumption occurs. The development of this database will make it possible to look beyond reports and analyses at national levels, and illuminate the relationships between consumption, harms, and culture. Conclusions: This database will facilitate work describing the prevalence, patterning, and predictors of personal reports of harm from others' drinking cross-nationally.

  • 2. Manton, Elizabeth
    et al.
    MacLean, Sarah
    Laslett, Anne-Marie
    Room, Robin
    3Centre for Health and Society, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australien.
    Alcohol's harm to others: Using qualitative research to complement survey findings2014In: The international journal of alcohol and drug research, ISSN 1925-7066, Vol. 3, no 2, p. 143-148Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Aim: The purpose of this study was to identify the potential contribution of qualitative research to future Alcohol’s Harm toOthers (AHTO) survey research and some of the potential difficulties that may be encountered when conducting studies of thisnature.

    Design: Qualitative, in-depth semi-structured telephone interviews.

    Setting: Australia.

    Participants: Potential participants were those who responded, in the telephone land-line-based Australia-wide AHTO survey ineither 2008 or 2011, that a child or children for whom they had responsibility had been harmed “a lot” or “a little” by someoneelse’s drinking, and who also indicated that they were willing to be recontacted for future research interviews. Ten participantswho selected the response “a lot” and 10 who selected “a little” were interviewed.

    Measures: Interviews were audio recorded and professionally transcribed. Transcribed interviews were thematically analysed.

    Findings: The qualitative study analysis enabled access to detailed stories, clarification of the validity and meanings of surveymeasures, identification of questions for future surveys, and contextualization of survey findings. The analysis also suggestedthat samples of people who agree to discuss harm from others’ drinking with a researcher are likely to be skewed in particularways.

    Conclusions: The approach to AHTO research described here incorporates both the persuasive power of whole-populationsurvey research and the nuanced understanding provided through interpretation of in-depth qualitative interviews. It enables thepresentation of more comprehensive information about the nature and extent of AHTO.

  • 3.
    Reitan, Therese
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD).
    Arguing the case: Committing pregnant substance abusers to compulsory care2016In: The international journal of alcohol and drug research, ISSN 1925-7066, Vol. 5, no 3, p. 131-139Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Aims: To analyse how social services relate to compulsory care legislation in applications for compulsory care for substance abuse in cases involving pregnant women, given that such commitments cannot be made solely for the sake of the fetus/unborn child. Design: Applications for compulsory care to administrative courts involving pregnant women categorized according to how the pregnancy was presented or emphasized. Setting: Compulsory care for substance abuse in Sweden. Participants: 116 cases involving 107 individuals who were pregnant at the time of application for commitment to compulsory care between 2000 and 2009. Findings: In 43% of the cases the risks for both the woman and the fetus’/child’s health was emphasized. In 28% of the cases the applications were primarily for the sake of the fetus/child. In 17% of the cases the pregnancy was mentioned in a neutral manner, while in 8% of the cases the fact that the woman was abusing substances during pregnancy was presented as an indication of the severity of the problem. Conclusions: References were commonly made to the interests of the woman and the fetus/child as an entity, but social services also openly claimed the need for commitment primarily for the sake of the child. Arguments also mirrored the debate when legislation was first introduced; for example, that substance abuse during pregnancy is a clear indication of how serious the problem is, and how this situation may be hazardous to the woman’s mental health should she become the cause of severe and irrevocable harm to her child.

  • 4.
    Room, Robin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD).
    Alcohol control policies in low- and middle-income countries: Testing impacts and improving policymaking practice2014In: The international journal of alcohol and drug research, ISSN 1925-7066, Vol. 3, no 3, p. 184-186Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Alcohol is a major contributor to the global burden of disease (Lim et al., 2012), and is a major source of health and social harm in many middle- and low-income countries, as well as in high-income countries. In recognition of this, a Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Effects of Alcohol was adopted in 2010 by the World Health Organization’s governing body, the World Health Assembly (WHA) (WHO, 2010). Since then, there has also been increasing international recognition of alcohol’s role in social problems, including crime, family problems, and lost work productivity: "beyond health consequences," WHO notes, "the harmful use of alcohol brings significant social and economic losses to individuals and society at large" (http://www.who.int/mediacentre/ factsheets/fs349/en/). New emphasis has been put, too, on alcohol’s major contribution as a risk factor for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer, heart disease, and liver cirrhosis; WHO’s global goals for NCD control include the (somewhat fuzzily defined) goal of a 10% reduction in the "harmful use of alcohol . . . as appropriate" by 2020 (WHO, 2013). Together, these steps reflect a greater international recognition of alcohol as a major issue to be addressed in improving global health.

  • 5.
    Room, Robin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD). La Trobe University, Australia.
    Sources of funding as an influence on alcohol studies2016In: The international journal of alcohol and drug research, ISSN 1925-7066, Vol. 5, no 1, p. 15-16Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    When I first read Thomas Kuhn’s (1962) seminal work, shortly after its first publication, I was awakened to the historical evidence that even the “hardest” science is a human construction deeply influenced by the social order and the conceptual traditions in which the scientist works. On the other hand, as constructivism took hold in sociology, I realized I was a “soft” constructivist, willing to acknowledge that our conceptual and other constructions face some limits from the physical world and its operating rules (Room, 1984). But in fields like ours, the constraints are quite broad, so that what constitutes alcohol social science—what its research questions are, and how it approaches them—has varied a great deal over the last century or so, and varies considerably among the societies which have been willing to fund such research. I remember discovering that temperance-oriented survey studies, when they turned attention at all beyond the boundary between drinker and abstainer, focused only on frequency of drinking, ignoring amount per occasion (Lindgren, 1973)— a pattern found also in drug war–era drug surveys. What we collect as material for study and what we focus on in analyzing it are deeply influenced by our intellectual and cultural-political heritage and environment.

  • 6.
    Room, Robin
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD). University of Melbourne, Australia; Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre, Australia.
    Bloomfield, Kim
    Grittner, Ulrike
    Gustafsson, Nina-Katri
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD). Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Mäkälä, Pia
    Österberg, Esa
    Ramstedt, Mats
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD). Stockholm County Council, Sweden.
    Rehm, Jürgen
    Wicki, Matthias
    Gmel, Gerhard
    What happened to alcohol consumption and problems in the Nordic countries when alcohol taxes were decreased and borders opened?2013In: The international journal of alcohol and drug research, ISSN 1925-7066, Vol. 2, no 1, p. 77-87Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Aims: The study tests the effects of reduction in alcohol taxation and increased travellers’ allowances on alcohol consumption and related harm in Denmark, Finland and southern Sweden. In late 2003 and early 2004, taxes on alcoholic beverages were reduced in Denmark and Finland, and the abolition of quantitative quotas on alcohol import for personal use from other European Union countries made cheaper alcohol more available in Denmark, Finland and Sweden. 

    Methods: Analyses of routine statistical register data, and summarizing results from longitudinal and repeated cross-sectional population surveys and other previous analyses, with northern Sweden as a control site for secular trends.

    Results: Contrary to expectations, alcohol consumption – as based on register data – increased only in Finland and not in Denmark and southern Sweden, and self-reported survey data did not show an increase in any site. In Finland, alcohol-attributable harms in register data increased, especially in people with low socio-economic status. Few such effects were found in Denmark and southern Sweden. Neither did results for self-reported alcohol-attributable problems show any general increases in the three sites. These results remained after controlling for regression to the mean and modelling of drop-outs.

    Conclusions: Harms measured in register data did tend to increase in the short term with the policy change, particularly in Finland, where the tax changes were broader. But reducing price and increasing availability does not always increase alcohol consumption and harm. Effects are dampened in affluent societies, and other factors may intervene. The results for Finland also suggest some limits for general population surveys in testing for relatively small policy effects.

  • 7.
    Room, Robin
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD). Turning Point, Australia; University of Melbourne, Australia.
    Hellman, Matilda
    Stenius, Kerstin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD). National Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland.
    Addiction: The dance between concept and terms2015In: The international journal of alcohol and drug research, ISSN 1925-7066, Vol. 4, no 1, p. 27-35Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The paper discusses the relation between a concept of addiction and the terminology used for its communication, drawing on and analyzing historical citations from the Oxford English Dictionary. The history of words used in English illustrates that terms for a concept change over time, often by an existing word being repurposed. Addiction as a term existed prior to the contemporary concept, but with a descriptive meaning that did not carry the explanatory power intrinsic in the modern variant. So its use as a word for the modern conception of the addiction phenomenon was delayed well beyond the emergence of the concept. The experience in English of interplay between concept and terms is discussed in the context of two frames: of influence in both directions between medical and popular concepts and terms, and of cross-cultural variations in the concept and of terms for it.

  • 8. Schmidt, Laura A.
    et al.
    Room, Robin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD). University of Melbourne, Australia; Turning Point Alcohol & Drug Centre, Australia.
    Alcohol and the process of economic development: Contributions from ethnographic research2012In: The international journal of alcohol and drug research, ISSN 1925-7066, Vol. 1, no 1, p. 41-55Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Drawing on 33 ethnographic studies of drinking in low- and middle-income countries around the world, this paper describes common themes pertaining to economic development, alcohol consumption and related harms. Three crosscutting themes emerged that shed light on why alcohol consumption and problems tend to increase during periods of economic development. First, from the perspective of the global alcohol industry, developing countries often become viewed as emerging consumer markets. Commercially produced alcohol tends to gain a higher status than traditional locally produced beverages, replacing them as resources allow. Drinking and beverage choices thus both symbolize new social divisions and help create them. Second, economic relations change whereby women’s interests often lose ground as men’s drinking increases. Commercialization of production may mean that women lose control over what was traditionally a home-produced supply. Resources that once stayed in the family or community may be exported as commercial profits. Third, alcohol often becomes both a source and symbol of political tensions and class divisions. Governments may become dependent on commercial alcohol revenues and willing to tolerate high levels of alcohol-related harm. In response, social and cultural movements, often promulgated by women, spontaneously emerge from within developing societies to counterbalance elite interests in the alcohol trade and push against external market forces.

  • 9.
    Stenius, Kerstin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD). Nordic Centre for Welfare and Social Issues Finland; National Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland.
    Addiction journals and the management of conflicts of interest2016In: The international journal of alcohol and drug research, ISSN 1925-7066, Vol. 5, no 1, p. 9-10Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Scientific journals are crucial for a critical and open exchange of new research findings and as guardians of the quality of science. Today, as policy makers increasingly justify decision-making with references to scientific evidence, and research articles form the basis for evidence for specific measures, journals also have an indirect responsibility for how political decisions will be shaped.

  • 10.
    Stenius, Kerstin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD). National Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland.
    Toward new comparative understandings2012In: The international journal of alcohol and drug research, ISSN 1925-7066, Vol. 1, no 1, p. 11-11Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 11. Steppan, Martin
    et al.
    Piontek, Daniela
    Kraus, Ludwig
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD). IFT Institut für Therapieforschung, Germany.
    The effect of sample selection on the distinction between alcohol abuse and dependance2014In: The international journal of alcohol and drug research, ISSN 1925-7066, Vol. 3, no 2, p. 159-168Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Aim: The effect of sample selection on the dimensionality of DSM-IV alcohol and dependence (AUD) criteria was tested applying different methods.

    Sample: Data from the 2006 German Epidemiological Survey of Substance Abuse (ESA) were used. A mixed-mode design was used (self-administered questionnaires and telephone interviews), and 7,912 individuals, aged 18 to 64 years, participated. The response rate was 45%. Alcohol abuse and dependence were assessed according to DSM-IV, based on the Munich Composite International Diagnostic Interview (M-CIDI). Inter-item correlations, Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA), and Latent Class Analysis (LCA) were applied to the total sample (unrestricted sample, URS) and a subsample of individuals with at least one endorsed criterion (restricted sample, RS). Latent Class Factor Analysis (LCFA) was performed using the RS, including covariates (age, sex, education).

    Findings: The mean inter-item correlation was higher in the URS than in the RS. When individuals without criterion endorsement were excluded, factor analyses resulted in more dimensions. In the RS, LCA yielded an interaction between abuse, dependence and class membership. The LCFA identified two dimensions and five classes corresponding to abuse and dependence.

    Conclusions: Sample selection has a critical effect on dimensionality analyses. When individuals who do not endorse a single criterion are excluded, the bi-axial factor structure of the DSM-IV (abuse and dependence) can be supported. However, there is also evidence that a further diagnostic category should be included or that the threshold for dependence should be lowered.

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