QMYOU Alumni Magazine Issue 82 - Page 12

AlcoLOLs helps change S c o t l a n d ’s teenage drinking culture The project team, made up of communication academics, recognise that most young people learn about alcohol through trial and error during their early adulthood, usually as part of a friendship or peer group. The new peer-led intervention aims to establish healthier norms of behaviour concerning drinking, and to prevent alcohol misuse. Ultimately, the team hopes to reduce the long-term harm associated with Scotland’s drinking culture. S Emma Wood, Lecturer in Public Relations at QMU, explained: “Drinking too much is a well-recognised social problem which is tackled through a combination of education, controlling availability, and, sadly unsuccessful legislative efforts such as minimal pricing. Young people are an important target group but teenagers often don’t respond to being ‘talked at’ by adults and advertising falls on deaf ears. We know from research that they are influenced by their peers and so teenagers needed to become more involved in designing their own approach which they can truly associate with.” PECIALISTS IN DIALOGUE at QMU have created a ground breaking initiative which could transform Scotland’s drinking culture. The AlcoLOLs project, which has been running in Edinburgh since 2010, is helping change young people’s attitudes to our notorious drinking culture. The innovative project, which has been funded by The Robertson Trust, was developed by QMU. It focuses on peer to peer dialogue where young people share experiences of alcohol issues. Their increased knowledge of how to deal with such issues and peer pressure is having a real positive impact on teenagers’ attitudes to drinking and on their own drinking behaviour. 14 QMYOU /Creativity and Culture She continued: “Our approach was co- created with a group of pupils at Portobello High School, now known as The AlcoLOLs. We developed dialogue techniques so that they could run dialogue groups with their peers at school to encourage them to talk and think about alcohol in different ways. Together, they devise strategie ́)аɵ̰)ȁ٥ѥͥՅѥ́ٽ٥)ͅ丁Qոɽ́ѡȁ͍)ݥѠձ́ѡɽ%ӊéٕ䁑ɕ)ɽѡɅѥѕՔݡɔѠ)ɽͥ́ѕչݡЁѡ)͡ձ͡ձаt)Q1=1́ɕѕ͍ɥ)͕ѡȁݸɥ́ɑȁѼ)ѥձєЁ͍ͥЁѡ)ɽ̸Q́ݽɬ́Ёչ)ɕѕͥ́Ѽѥϊdѥمѥ)́ɥȁͥЁѼ)ɥ%Ёե́ѡѼɔѥٕ)ݥѠͥՅѥ́ٽ٥%Ёͼ)́͡ѡ܁ѼхЁѡȁ)ݥѠѡȁɕ́ȁѡȁɕͥ)ͽͽѡݡɕ͕ɍ͡)Սɕѥͅȁɥ٥ȸ)ͅ胊qȁѡЁѥ䁽ѡ)́ݕɔѼձ䁡ЁЁѡ)݅ѡ䁹ɵ䁍չєЁ͍)=յѡ́ݡ͡ͅ+q$ٕȁͅݡЁ$ɕ䁙$ͅݡ)$ѼͅѼЁt+q%Ё݅́ɕЁѡЁ݅́ͽѕ)ݥѠո͕݅́́݅ѼЁݥѠ)ѡaɽݓdѼձȰѼ