Drinking Refusal Self-Efficacy and Intended Alcohol Consumption During a Mass-Attended Youth Event
Background: Mass-attended youth events represent a substantial public health challenge due to high levels of alcohol consumption and corresponding high rates of alcohol-related harm. Although previous research has documented the protective effect of high drinking refusal self-efficacy (DRSE) on alcohol consumption in general, there is a lack of research examining the role of DRSE in reducing consumption during mass-attended youth events and the factors associated with DRSE in these contexts. Objectives: This study aimed to identify potentially modifiable factors that influence DRSE and drinking intentions to inform interventions designed to reduce alcohol-related harm during mass-attended events. Methods: Australian secondary school students (n = 586; 70% female) in their final two years of high school completed an online survey assessing their alcohol consumption intentions for Schoolies, their perceived degree of DRSE, and other individual and environmental factors. Path analysis was used to assess a mediational model examining factors associated with DRSE and alcohol consumption intentions. Results: DRSE was found to be significantly associated with intended alcohol consumption during Schoolies. Specifically, leavers who believed they would not be able to refuse others' offers of alcoholic drinks reported significantly greater alcohol consumption intentions. Results also revealed that DRSE was enhanced in those respondents who believed there would be a variety of non-drinking activities and non-alcoholic beverages available to them during Schoolies. Conclusion: Results suggest the need to increase leavers' confidence in their ability to refuse unwanted alcoholic beverages and highlight the importance of providing celebration options that do not involve alcohol consumption.