The Influence of Social and Cultural Factors on Alcohol Use and Abuse among a Sample of Young Males in the Army

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The purpose of this qualitative study was to understand the social, cultural, and structural factors that contribute to or inhibit alcohol use and abuse in the Army among young males, unmarried or married without a present spouse. Seventeeen single, or separated, young male soldiers stationed at Fort Bragg Army Base were interviewed to provide insight into the research questions. Soldiers were largely located through face-to-face canvassing. The interviews, which lasted from 45 to 90 minutes, took place face-to-face and were then transcribed. Interviews were analyzed using grounded theory approach by locating patterns, themes and relationships to come to generalizations. The ... continued below

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Short, John Rollin August 2017.

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  • Short, John Rollin

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The purpose of this qualitative study was to understand the social, cultural, and structural factors that contribute to or inhibit alcohol use and abuse in the Army among young males, unmarried or married without a present spouse. Seventeeen single, or separated, young male soldiers stationed at Fort Bragg Army Base were interviewed to provide insight into the research questions. Soldiers were largely located through face-to-face canvassing. The interviews, which lasted from 45 to 90 minutes, took place face-to-face and were then transcribed. Interviews were analyzed using grounded theory approach by locating patterns, themes and relationships to come to generalizations. The themes that emerged from the interviews include: 1) stresses of army work/life; 2) social/entertainment use; 3) tradition/brotherhood/entitlement; 4) fear/consequences; 5) impressionable youth; 6) treatment. While the themes which emerged were reported in discrete terms, there was overlap in them. The functional aspect of alcohol use to these soldiers mixed with the impact of social interaction influencing their use served to encourage and further the use of alcohol. The drinking patterns of young male soldiers can be seen to exist on a continuum of either social integration or social stress, in line with Durkheim's conception of suicide, with the existence of being on either end of these continuums leading to excessive alcohol use. The findings confirm Durkheim's conception of social order in leading to unhealthy responses and indicate the Army needs to address the role and impact of the greater social environment in leading to alcohol misuse among young male soldiers.

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  • August 2017

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  • Oct. 9, 2017, 11:44 a.m.

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Short, John Rollin. The Influence of Social and Cultural Factors on Alcohol Use and Abuse among a Sample of Young Males in the Army, dissertation, August 2017; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1011862/: accessed December 15, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .