June 13, 2009 The nature of the U.S. Navy workplace leads to higher heavy drinking for sailors than for civilians, according to an article in the Journal of Mixed Methods Research.
Several issues specific to the Navy contribute to problem drinking, according to the study, including the youth of recruits, alternating periods of exertion and boredom, and a culture that emphasizes drinking as a mechanism for bonding, recreation, and stress relief. These conclusions were reached using methods that included a statistical analysis of survey data as well as an analyses of interviews and observations on bases, ships and submarines.
In addition to presenting the results of the study, the authors also use it to make observations about the use of mixed methods in conducting this type of research.
Methodologically, the study design drew from approaches associated with social psychology, public health, and anthropology, reflecting the disciplines of research team members.
"A second purpose of the article is methodological in scope," the authors write. We sought "to use the study findings as a springboard for discussing the challenges and opportunities in carrying out collaborative mixed method research among this population."
Mixed methods is a fairly new research method where the investigator collects data and draws inferences using both qualitative and quantitative approaches.
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- Ames et al. The Impact of Occupational Culture on Drinking Behavior of Young Adults in the U.S. Navy. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 2008; 3 (2): 129 DOI: 10.1177/1558689808328534
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