Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

First Advisor

Maria Dinis, PhD

Second Advisor

Clarice Staff, DSW

Third Advisor

Joseph Clubb


Alcohol use among adolescents has been a long-standing problem in the United States. This study was undertaken to gain a better understanding of what the experience of using alcohol as a teenager is like. For this hermeneutic study, three participants took part in an in-depth interview that focused on their experiences with alcohol. The main theme that emerged from the experiences was Maturing. This theme and two subthemes, Peer Influence and Risk Taking, were examined for deeper meaning. These findings suggest that professionals working with adolescents can further help their clients by keeping the door open for discussion of alcohol use. These finding also indicate that policies regarding prevention efforts may need to shift their focus from abstinence to responsible drinking.


SC 11.MSW.2001.Swenson.SO

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Social Work Commons