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Understanding drinking among midlife men: a systematic review

We worked with researchers from Keele University, London South Bank University and the University of Sunderland to review research studies published 1995-2018 into the drinking experiences and views of midlife men in the United Kingdom


From 5,172 titles and abstracts, 11 publications were included, representing 6 unique studies.

What we found

  • Motivations for drinking among midlife men were associated with relaxation, socialising and maintenance of male friendships.
  • Midlife men saw their drinking as a choice and in contrast to ‘problem drinkers’ who cannot meet key responsibilities.
  • Strong social norms govern drinking amongst this group, with alcohol consumption seen as an expression of masculinity.
  • There is an evidence gap of primary studies focusing on drinking in middle-aged men

Access the full paper

Implications for the work of Drinkaware

Interventions using information and guidance should consider the significance of the meanings and social importance of alcohol consumption among midlife men when aiming to effectively influence the way this group drinks.

To gain further insights we commissioned innovative research published in the report Midlife Male Drinking.

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