Britain is a multicultural society, but little is currently known about if, and how, young people mix with friends from different ethnic backgrounds and the potential impact of this on drinking attitudes and behaviours. Research was undertaken to examine these links using quantitative and qualitative methods among a sample of 14- and 15-year-olds in diverse locations in London and Berkshire. The report:
- explores the intra- and interethnic mix of young people’s friendship groups as described by young people in questionnaires and interviews;
- analyses how drinking patterns vary by ethnicity, religion and gender;
- investigates the links between young people’s background characteristics, their friendship groups (including the ethnicity of friends) and their reported drinking rates; and
- looks at the implications of the findings, including recommendations for harm reduction based on education and peer support programmes.