Drink Refusal Self Efficacy

So while at the Alcohol Concern conference last week a lecturer, Dr Dom Conroy from Birkbeck University, talked about Drink Refusal Self Efficacy (DRSE).  This was a new expression and phenomenon to me and so I’ve been busy researching.

Here are the initial findings:

Drink Refusal Self Efficacy is a cognitive construct related to our belief in one’s ability to resist drinking in, usually high-risk, situations.  It originates from Bandura’s (1986) concept of efficacy expectations – one’s perceived ability to achieve a desired outcome in a particular situation.  DRSE has been studied in relation to resisting heavy drinking use, resisting urges and confidence in not using and Burling et al (1989) showed a relationship between abstainers and high refusal self-efficacy.

The DRSE questionnaire looks at:

  1. Social pressure
  2. Emotional relief
  3. Opportunistic
  4. Alcohol dependence scale
  5. Alcohol quantity
  6. Drinking frequency

Having high levels of DRSE is unsurprisingly a predictor of success.

DRSE alongside alcohol expectancy, our expectations about the effects of drinking alcohol on one’s behavior and mood,  have consistently been demonstrated to be useful to our understanding of alcohol use and abuse.

What struck me about this research and knowledge is that it is aligned to Bandura’s social learning theory, better known as role-modelling, to you and I.  Two of the 3 factors on the DRSE questionnaire are environmental – social pressure and opportunistic.

I can’t help but wonder if we changed the drinking culture around us so that there was less role-modelling of drinking behaviour we would see a shift in attitudes and levels of drinking.  Look at what’s happened with smoking.  It is role-modelled less so less people are engaging with it.

For me Bandura’s theory of role-modelling is one of the most important as I only have to see what happens to my own children’s behaviour and what ticks of mine they have taken on already to know how critical it is and that is why I’ve stopped.

Were you aware of DRSE and what do you think?

PS My 500th free e-book subscriber has signed up so guess I better extend the offer!  The 600th subscriber gets the next free place! 🙂

11 thoughts on “Drink Refusal Self Efficacy

  1. Hey there Good morning to you.

    I found this interesting but I had to look up efficacy ‘the intent to produce a desired result’.

    I think you make a good point. And, I think its why folks often a/struggle and b/relapse.

    The social normities around drinking mean that not drinking is abnormal, social exclusion feels like the ‘punishment’ for not drinking. I think its why immersion in a culture of soberiety makes us feel less like aliens in an alien land.

    I’ve heard ex-smokers say they feel ostracized by current legislation and social culture/attitudes towards smoking. But, I know you’ve made that comment before. So social pressure I feel plays quite a role.

    Isn’t it true alcohol/cigarettes are the only social drugs you’ll hear people asking why you’re not using them?

    I heard someone say (at a group thing) that there’s a huge rate of relapse before 12 weeks, is that true?

    1. Morning Daisy! 🙂 Yes there is that belief about smoking, which is why the industry uses that as a defence (as discussed in my post yesterday – they use the civil liberties and freedom of choice argument insisting we are ‘nanny statists’). Relapse is common around the 3 month and 9 month mark and only 18% make it beyond 2 years – will come back with stats to support that statement or Prim if you’re reading I know you’ve researched this! 😉 xx

      1. ‘fraid so – this is a chronically relapsing condition and I’m with you – I am gunning for 2 years and beyond 🙂

  2. I’ve never heard of DRSE before, it sounds like it was an interesting lecture:-) . The role-modelling theory makes sense; we think alcohol is associated with “fun”, until the fun turns into a problem. xx

    1. It was an interesting lecture Lori 🙂 And thanks on the congrats for 500 e-book subscribers 😉 xx

  3. Dear Lucy,
    I know for me, if drinking was not modeled, and alcohol hard to get, it would have made a difference. I am on day 85. I have had several relapses. One time I was sober for a year. However, this last time, I just decided enough was enough. I feel stronger than before.
    Thank you!

    1. Hey untipsy It feels very hard to stop and stay stopped in a booze filled world I agree. Congrats on 85 days and your previous stretch of a year – all getting you ready for this time 🙂

  4. This makes a lot of sense to me. God it is hard to do this sometimes. I have often mentioned the social conditioning around drinking. Was out in Edinburgh last weekend and the pubs were heaving. There were queues to get in places and the rounds cost a fortune but everyone was paying up. Including me! And I wasn’t even drinking the damn stuff. The tide may have turned but it is still very much against us 🙁

    1. It is Kim and it is hard but hanging out here goes someway to countering the social conditioning 🙂 I’d be lost without all of you xx

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