Public health messages promoting the detrimental effects of drinking are only one avenue policy makers can use in their campaign to educate teenagers about alcohol; their peers are also an another important group. For this study, the researchers examine teenage alcohol use and strategies that they employ to minimize harm. This approach draws on the idea that teenagers are their own agents in promoting their health, and the health of their peers (Jorgensen, Curtis, Christensen, & Gronbaek, 2007).
This study took place in a rural Danish community with a population of approximately 2000 people. Participants observed were students 13 to 16 year olds who were contacted through their schools. Informants were also used in this study (a different group; 15-16 year olds) and they consisted of 13 boys and 19 girls. They were all Caucasian (Danish) with the exception of one Middle Eastern boy. In terms of social status, the studied group were a fairly homogenous group from middle-class families (Jorgensen, Curtis, Christensen, & Gronbaek, 2007).
Although not stated in the article, the paradigm of inquiry for this study is constructivism. This is because realities are co-constructed by the participants studied, and this study is subjective and interactive.
The methodology of this study is ethnography of teenagers, and the strategies they employ for harm minimization from alcohol use (Jorgensen, Curtis, Christensen, & Gronbaek, 2007).
This study involved two periods of ethnographic fieldwork. In the first period of fieldwork the researcher observed students (13-16 year old; n=93) contacted from a local school for 50 days. There was a moderate level of participation as the researcher’s observation was carried out at the school, get-togethers, parties, and recreational events. Alcohol use by students may or may not have been present and fieldnotes were recorded daily. In the second period of the study, researchers employed interviewing of informants (15-16 year olds; n=32) for the bulk of their results. Participants were interviewed one to four times in self-selected groups, with sessions of approximately 1 hour long. The themes of the interviews included the participants’ everyday lives, their perspectives on life, and their risk perception – with emphasis on exploring their views and experiences of alcohol use. Interviews were tape recorded and transcribed (Jorgensen, Curtis, Christensen, & Gronbaek, 2007).
After fieldwork, fieldnotes, and interviews were completed, these data were transcribed and analyzed using Nvivo software. The data was coded and re-coded, and the researchers looked for common themes amongst the data. The researchers sought to develop codes that were organized into distinct categories (Jorgensen, Curtis, Christensen, & Gronbaek, 2007).
For teenagers from a rural Danish community that are both ethnically and social-economically homogenous, the findings of this study was that harm minimization from alcohol use is achievable by:...