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Drugs (Abingdon Engl). 2015 Feb;22(1):52-59. Epub 2014 Nov 13.

The educational potential of alcohol-related flushing among Chinese young people.

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Department of Educational Psychology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln , Lincoln, NE , USA.
Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California , Alhambra, CA , USA.
Department of Health News and Communication, Chinese Center for Health Education, Ministry of Health , Beijing , China.


Aim: This paper describes Chinese university students' understanding of the meaning of the alcohol-related flushing response and how they reacted to their own and someone else's flushing in a group drinking situation. Method: The researcher surveyed 530 Chinese university students about their understanding of flushing and their perception of how people respond to a person who visibly flushes while drinking alcohol. Findings: Most students did not know about the physiological cause of flushing. There were significant gender differences in both reactions to and perception of responses to a person who flushes. There was no direct relationship between flushing and drinking behaviour.


This description of flushing behaviour and responses to a flushing person is discussed in terms of educational opportunities to change behaviours that could reduce the cancer related risks of this visibly at-risk group.


ADH; ALDH; alcohol; college students; drinking; education; flushing; gender

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