Links between excessive alcohol consumption and sport are to be investigated by Edge Hill University.

Recent years have seen an increase in heavy drinking, particularly around those taking part in sport activities.

To explore this issue in greater detail, the University is co-funding a unique PhD with Alcohol Research UK, the only UK charity dedicated to reducing alcohol related harm.

Edge Hill PhD student Jin Zhou, supervised by recently appointed Psychology

Professor, Derek Heim, is looking at the link between alcohol consumption and sporting identities.

“Research consistently indicates that people who participate in, or follow, sport consume alcohol more frequently than their non-sporting peers,” says Professor Heim.

The studentship will explore the reasons behind these links and also consider possible positive influences that alcohol can have on group behaviour, as well as looking at how alcohol consumption changes over time.

During the three-year project, questionnaires and interviews will be used to measure attitudes towards alcohol, influences and patterns of drinking behaviour. 

“Ultimately, we hope to contribute to the debate around drinking behaviour,” adds Professor Heim, “and suggest some more positive ways of controlling excessive alcohol consumption with the aim of informing future policy and practice.”