New Zealanders’ alcohol consumption patterns across the lifespan

25 Oct 2018

This report by Massey University and the University of Auckland looked at the initiation of alcohol use, the patterns of alcohol use across the lifespan, and transitions from hazardous to non-hazardous drinking.

The research found two cohorts of women and three cohorts of men who shared the same patterns of drinking frequency and quantity across the lifespan. Overall, hazardous drinking patterns (a combination of drinking frequency, quantity and bingeing) were found to be largely stable across peoples’ lifespan, with long periods of hazardous or non-hazardous drinking being the norm. Going from non-hazardous to hazardous drinking or vice versa was not common; when it occurred, it was usually a singular event such as unemployment prior to mid-life; a relationship breakdown in mid-life; or developing a chronic health condition in young adulthood and mid-life.