The Shetland Islands: Longitudinal Changes in Alcohol Consumption in a Changing Environment

R. Caetano, R. M. Suzman, D. H. Rosen, D. J. Voorhees Rosen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


This research reports longitudinal changes in drinking practices which occurred in two communities in the Shetland Islands since the development of the oil industry in the Islands began. The‘target’community was directly affected by the oil development; the‘comparison’community was located in a protected zone where no oil development could take place. Increases in mean alcohol consumption were twice as large in the target area as in the comparison area. In both communities, increases were largely concentrated among those less than 30 years old. Frequency rather than quantity was the component of drinking which increased. Beer is the beverage whose consumption increased most. The association between the rapid social change occurring in Shetland and the above results is analyzed. The implications for developing governmental responses to health problems and formulating alcohol control policies is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-36
Number of pages16
JournalBritish Journal of Addiction
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1983


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

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