IN NEW ZEALAND
Surveys Comparison 1995
Habgood, Sally Casswell, Megan Pledger and Krishna Bhatta,
& Public Health Research Unit, November 2001
report is based on data collected in two surveys of 4232 (1995)
and 5113 (2000) people aged 14-65 years, which took place between
September and December 1995 and 2000. The 2000 survey included an
additional booster sample of younger people bringing the sample of
those aged 14-19 to 1129.
questionnaire used in the 2000 National Survey was identical to
the one used in the 1995 National Survey, except for changes in
response categories in the questions relating to drinking
locations and additional questions regarding age verification and
supply of alcohol asked of younger respondents.
for both surveys were conducted throughout New Zealand by a staff
of trained interviewers, using the Alcohol & Public Health
Research Unit’s (APHRU) computer assisted telephone interviewing
sample selection was stratified to reflect the New Zealand
population on the basis of geographic regions and level of
urbanisation. Telephone numbers were selected within each stratum
using a random digit dialling method, so that all households would
have an equal chance of being called. Within each household one or
more persons was randomly selected by the system for an interview.
Each telephone number was tried at least ten times in an effort to
reach those seldom at home. This allowed the survey to achieve the
relatively high response rates of 76% in 1995 and 73% in 2000.
the 1995 and 2000 surveys matched the census profiles for their
preceding census – taking into account estimates of population
change, although overall males were slightly under-represented.
The proportion of Maori in the sample was lower than in the New
Zealand population and Pacific peoples were also slightly
regions are grouped to provide a match with the four Regional
Health Authority regions in place in 1995. Level of urbanisation
is divided into metropolitan (Auckland urban area), large cities
(Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin), smaller main
urban areas (population 30,000 and over), large towns/secondary
urban areas (10,000 to 29,999), small towns/minor urban areas
(1,000 to 9,999) and rural areas (less than 1,000).
and quantity of alcohol consumption
was first ascertained whether respondents had consumed any
alcoholic beverage in the previous 12 months. Those who had were
then asked to report on drinking in specified locations plus any
additional locations they used. For each place, they were asked
how often they drank there and what they would drink on a typical
occasion at that location. This information was then used to
estimate the frequency of drinking, the quantity consumed on
typical occasions and the annual volume of alcohol consumed (see
Appendix C for further details). The
quantity consumed on a typical occasion is reported in the text as
number of drinks.
- Location of
collected for different drinking locations allowed for trends in
popularity and drinking patterns in different locations to be
analysed. In 1995, 15 locations were asked about plus an ‘any
other location’ question. In 2000 two locations were added.
These were ‘marae’ and ‘special events’ such as festivals,
music events or dance parties. This latter category was added in
acknowledgement of these becoming increasingly common locations.
from own drinking
drinkers were asked how many times in the previous 12 months they
had experienced each of 15 consequences from their drinking which,
for convenience, will be referred to as ‘problems’. These
ranged from more minor problems such as hangovers, influences on
performance at work and arguments, to more serious consequences
such as getting into fights and motor vehicle accidents. The
‘number of problems’ was the summed frequency of reported
problems across all 15 items.
from others’ drinking
persons, including abstainers, were asked how much harmful effect
other people’s drinking was having on three areas of their life:
home life, friendships and social life, and financial position.
Respondents were also asked about four specific consequences of
others’ drinking: being involved in a motor vehicle accident
that involved someone else’s drinking; being involved in some
other type of accident causing injury or major damage that
involved someone else’s drinking; being physically assaulted by
someone who had been drinking; and being sexually harassed by
someone who had been drinking.
production of alcohol
were asked about the home production of beer and spirits.
of drinking larger amounts and drinking enough to feel drunk
question ascertained how often people drank larger amounts of
alcohol. Larger amounts were defined as six or more drinks for men
and four or more for women. A ‘drink’ was defined as the
equivalent of one can or stubbie bottle of beer, one can of
ready-to-drink, one largish (140ml) glass of wine, or a double
hotel nip of spirits, all of which approximately equate to 15mls
of absolute alcohol.
separate question asked people how often they drank enough to feel
over own drinking
drinkers were also asked whether, compared with a year ago, they
were drinking more, less, or the same. They were also asked how
happy they were with their current level of drinking compared with
the level they felt was right for them.
reasons for increased and decreased consumption
who said they were drinking more than the year before were offered
a list of possible reasons for drinking more and asked to indicate
the reasons that applied to them. There was a similar procedure
for those drinking less.
were asked their level of agreement or disagreement with a number
of attitude statements.
were asked how likely they thought it was that alcohol would be
served to those who were drunk in the various locations they drank
in. They were also asked how often in the previous 12 months they
had seen police visiting the licensed locations where they drank.
- Access to
alcohol by younger drinkers
drinkers aged 14-19 were asked how often they had bought takeaway
alcohol from a variety of outlets. They were also asked how often
they had been refused entry or purchase at these locations and at
licensed locations where they had had a drink in the previous 12
months. Drinkers under minimum purchase age, those aged 14-17,
were asked how often alcohol had been purchased for them by
someone else and who supplied them most often.
- Those under 20
were asked how often they had been asked for age identification.
data have been analysed using weighted logistic regression for
binary variables, weighted general linear models on the log scale
for continuous variables and weighted bootstraps for ratios of
continuous variables. The
differences between 1995 and 2000 commented on in the text were
found to be statistically significant at the 5% level. Data
in graphs has been subject to logarithmic transformation for the
purposes of statistical analysis and is presented in the form of
geometric means. The error bars on the graphs represent 95%
confidence intervals and give an indication of the variability in
the data. This is described more fully in Appendix B. The
geometric mean is a good representation of the typical drinker’s
behaviour. Averages (arithmetic means) are used in the text and
show the influence of changes in extreme values.
details on methodology and sample composition can be found in
Appendix A. Details of analysis procedures are in Appendix B.
Comparisons with data from Statistics New Zealand on alcohol
available for consumption are given in Appendix D.
Data from District Licensing Authorities suggest an increase from
1995 to 2000 in such licensed events in large cities and
surrounding areas and in the largest tourist centres.
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