Pub trips ‘improve men’s mental health’

Regular trips to the pub could help improve men’s mental health, a new report has found.

PubsResearch by Dr Carol Emslie of the Glasgow Caledonian University, and head of the Substance Use and Misuse group in the Institute for Applied Health Research, found that having a pint in the pub with friends could help boost men’s mental health as it enables drinkers to support each other and open up emotionally.

According to a report by the Alcohol in Moderation Digest, Dr Emslie said health promotion experts needed to be sensitive to the role drinking in the pub with friends plays in middle-aged men’s lives if they wanted to address the high rates of drinking in this age group.

She said: “Our study found that men in midlife understood drinking with friends in the pub as a vital part of creating and maintaining male friendships.

“They felt that it helped them to talk to each other, provided social support and improved their mood. It was seen as an acceptable way to show concern and friendship for other men.

“A central issue in applied health research is to identify more effective ways to promote healthier lifestyles. Studies such as this one provide insight and understanding into how perceiving drinking as an ‘act of friendship’ can lead to both health-damaging – excessive drinking – and potentially health-promoting – sharing emotions and supporting other – behaviours.“

Dr Emslie’s paper, ‘The Role of Alcohol in Forging and Maintaining Friendships Amongst Scottish Men in Midlife’, was published in  the Heath Psychology Journal.

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