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Young people, sporting heroes and drinking

This is kind of good news really isn’t it?

Sports stars are no role models, say scientists

April 21, 2010

‘Researchers at the Universities of Manchester, UK, and Western Sydney, Australia, say their findings – published in Drug and Alcohol Review – rubbish the idea that sports stars act as role models for those who follow sport.

“The perceived drinking habits of sports stars and its relationship to the drinking levels of young people has never been examined empirically, despite these sporting heroes often being touted as influential role models for young people,” said lead researcher Dr Kerry O’Brien, a lecturer in Manchester’s School of .

 “Our research shows that young people, both sporting participants and non-sporting participants, don’t appear to be influenced by the drinking habits of high-profile sportspeople as depicted in the .”

Dr O’Brien and his colleagues, pointing to previous research, suggest that sport and sports stars are much more likely to influence the drinking behaviour of fans when used as marketing tools by the alcohol industry, such as through sponsorship deals.’

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