News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Reducing the alcohol age increased assaults of young males

Thursday 19 June 2014

Reducing the alcohol minimum purchasing age increased assaults of young males

New research from the University of Otago shows that reducing the minimum alcohol purchasing age to 18 in December 1999, was associated with an increase in assaults of 15-19 year-old males in New Zealand.

The study examined characteristics of patients admitted to New Zealand hospitals with assault injuries on weekends four years before, and up to 12 years after, the law change. Researchers compared assault rates among 18-19 year-olds, whose legal access to alcohol increased, and 15-17 year-olds, whose informal access to alcohol probably increased, against 20-21 year-olds, whose access was unaffected by the law change. The research, published in the prestigious American Journal of Public Health, showed that assault rates increased among 15-19 year-old males compared with the older control group. There were no such effects for females.

Lead author Professor Kypros Kypri says “Our previous research and three other studies showed deleterious effects of the 1999 law change on traffic injury and this was consistent with studies of similar law changes in Australia, the USA, and Canada. There had been no such studies of the effects on assault which is an increasingly important problem in New Zealand and other countries that have liberalised access to alcohol among young people.”

The 12 years following the law change were split into three 4-year periods and assault rates in each were compared with the four years immediately preceding the law change. Compared with the change seen in 20-21 year-old males, rates increased by a fifth in 18-19 year-old males, and by a quarter in 15-17 year-old males. Among females, the differences between the three age groups over time were not statistically significant.

“A limitation of the study is that there was insufficient statistical power to properly examine the effect of the law change on females. This is partly because the assault rate is so much lower among females than males, but it is also likely that the dynamics of assault are quite different when females are injured,” says co-author Professor Jennie Connor.

She added, “While girls and young women are drinking more than ever, they still account for only one in five or six assault hospitalisations. Assault remains predominantly a problem affecting young men and is likely to be contributing to the gender gap in health”.

The findings have important implications for public policy. “Increasing the minimum alcohol purchasing age should be considered as a countermeasure for the rising incidence of assault in many middle and high income countries, including New Zealand” says Professor Kypri.

Source: Kypri K, Davie G, McElduff P, Connor JL, Langley JDL (2014). Effects of lowering the minimum alcohol purchasing age on weekend hospitalised assault. American Journal of Public Health, 104(8) 10.2105/AJPH.2014.301889.
The research was funded with a Project Grant from the Health Research Council of New Zealand.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Album Review And Rap Beefs: Tame Impala, Currents.

Tame Impala’s new album Currents has one of the hallmarks of an enduring album. At first listen it seems like good, if somewhat ordinary, pop but as you go back more and more layers unravel revealing deeply rich, expertly crafted songs. More>>

Flagging Enthusiasm: Gareth Morgan Announces Winner Of $20k Flag Competition

The winner of the Morgan Foundation’s $20,000 flag competition is “Wā kāinga / Home”, designed by Auckland based Studio Alexander. Economist and philanthropist Gareth Morgan set up the competition because he had strong views on what the flag should represent but he couldn’t draw one himself. More>>

ALSO:

Books: The Lawson Quins Tell Their Incredible Story

They could have been any family of six children – except that five of them were born at once. It will come as a shock to many older New Zealanders to realise that Saturday July 25 is the Lawson quintuplets’ 50th birthday. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Wartime Women

Coinciding as it does with the movie Imitation Game which focusses on Alan Turing breaking the Enigma code in Hut 6 at Bletchley Park (“BP”), this book is likely to attract a wide readership. It deserves to do so, as it illustrates that BP was very much more than Turing and his colleagues. More>>

Maori Language Commission: Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori 2015

The theme for Māori Language Week 27 July – 2 August 2015 is ‘Whāngaihia te Reo ki ngā Mātua’ ‘Nurture the language in parents’. It aims to encourage and support every day Māori language use for parents and caregivers with children” says Acting Chief Executive Tuehu Harris.. More>>

ALSO:

Live Music: Earl Sweatshirt Plays To Sold Out Bodega

The hyped sell-out crowd had already packed themselves as close as they could get to the stage before Earl came on. The smell of weed, sweat and beer filled Bodega – more debauched sauna than bar by this point. When he arrived on stage the screaming ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news