Main Article Content

Self- and Collateral Spouse-Reported Alcohol in Malawi: Exploring Social Drinking Norms' Potential for Alcohol Prevention

H Natvig
AH Eide
MH Døving
AL Hessen
E Hoel
J Ndawala
G Azalde
SH Braathen
A Munthali


Adult (18+ years old) Malawian men and women’s alcohol use and social drinking norms were examined. From  31,676 screened households, heads and spouses in 1,795 households with at least one alcohol user were  interviewed. Alcohol use last 12 months was reported by 27.3% and 1.6% of all adult men and women respectively. Male and female alcohol users’ mean consumption was 8.05 litres and 1.51 litres of pure alcohol respectively. Spouses reported 55 and 61% higher consumption level for their spouses compared to self-reports. Without  including non-drinkers, drinking norms explained 6.7% of men’s and 20.9% of women’s alcohol consumption. Prevention efforts could be directed at helping women not to start drinking by supporting their existing  genderspecific descriptive drinking norms.

Key Words: Alcohol, same-sex descriptive norms, household survey, Malawi

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1531-4065
print ISSN: 1531-4065