Adolescent involvement in out-of-control parties: Social media responders' perspectives on underage alcohol consumption and violent antisocial party behaviours
Nova Science, Inc
Place of Publication
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Medical and Health Sciences
Although alcohol-fuelled party violence is a widespread Australian social phenomenon, little is known about the adolescents who engage in such acts. To address this lack of understanding an examination was conducted of Social Media Responders (SMRs) beliefs as to why this party phenomenon occurs in Western Australia. In this regard, a mixed-method research design was employed, which allowed for the triangulation of the study’s three data sources (i.e., party occurrence data, SMR comment data, and census data). Findings revealed that while SMRs consider alcohol consumption to be an integral part of the adult Australian ‘barbeque’ culture, they believed this culture has morphed within the current adolescent generation into a ‘violent drink party’ culture. SMRs debated whether out-of-control parties were more prevalent in affluent or non-affluent suburbs. MANOVA analysis revealed that suburb location was not a significant contributory factor to adolescent party violence. SMRs uniformly expressed the belief that it was the failure of parents to instill socially acceptable mores of behaviour into their adolescent children that was the root cause of adolescent party violence. SMRs who were parents of adolescent partygoers rejected this contention and countered that party violence was a direct consequence of do-gooders within the Juvenile Justice System eroding parental rights. Adolescent partygoers, in turn, blamed Police and other adults for overreacting to their revelling. The paper closes by suggesting that the culture of blame- shifting needs to cease and a greater emphasis needs to be placed on educating society if the health dangers associated with underage drinking are to be understood and acted upon.