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The University of Southampton

Alcohol literacy

Measuring teenagers' health literacy around alcohol - a feasibility study

PI: Dr Kathryn Woods-Townsend


This interdisciplinary award involves colleagues from Education (Kathryn Woods-Townsend, Marcus Grace, Jenny Byrne), Medicine (Julia Sinclair, Paul Roderick), and Geography (Graham Moon).

This is a small feasibility study to;
i) Define and measure baseline aspects of ‘alcohol health literacy’ among teenagers
ii) Use this data to begin developing a personalised computer based teaching activity which raises students’ awareness of their response to alcohol related cues

This will be a precursor to a wider research study developing teaching activities to modify students’ attitudes towards drinking and initiate action to overcome personal and social barriers, for which we are seeking external funding.


Baseline data collected will include:
1. Understanding of acute alcohol-related health harms;
2. Understanding of alcohol strengths;
3. Understanding of exposure to virtual alcohol (e.g. recognition of available alcohol brands);
4. Understanding of exposure to real alcohol (e.g. self, peers, parents);
5. Awareness of ‘manipulation’ by drinks promotions.

This information will be used to design and trial the computer based teaching activity.

Impact to date

This project is in its early stages – watch this space!

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