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Matthew Painting
Matt Wilson
Writing 2
7 November 2016
WP2
Drinking alcohol is an activity that has been around for hundreds of years and has
become a common activity throughout the world. Many people participate in this activity to
socialize, celebrate, or simply because they like the taste. While doing so is legal, it is not all
parties and fun when it comes to alcohol. Even though most people view drinking as a fun
activity, drinking alcohol is actually extremely harmful and has led to many problems with the
law and health of many. Determining what kinds of people drink the most and what the effects
are of this drinking on the human body is the first step to an improved society without these
problems. Epidemiology and statistics are two academic disciplines that have had a lot of
research on the topic of alcohol consumption along with the negative impacts of it and because
of each disciplines efforts and techniques, progress has been made in the process of informing
the public of these issues and finding solutions to make alcohol consumption safer and healthier
worldwide.
Statistics is one of the academic disciplines that has shaped the topic of drinking alcohol.
The goal of statistics is to collect and analyze data to understand certain aspects of the desired
topic or answer a specific problem addressed within the topic. In the peer-reviewed article I
researched, the main research question was asking whether or not there is an association between
adolescent alcohol consumption and their parents consumption pattern and attitude towards
alcohol. The first thing that must be done in a statistical experiment is to identify the population
which in the article I read was shown by, This involved distributing a survey to adolescents (n =
982) in their final two years of second level education and at least one of their parents from a

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local electorate area in Southern Ireland (Murphy et al). For every statistical experiment there
might be a different population which will change based on what population will best answer the
question which for this experiment was teenagers and their parents. After deciding on a target
question and population, the researchers must choose their method of experimentation which will
vary based on the goal of the experiment. In statistics the researchers will collect data on the
desired area such as This survey included: alcohol use, self- reported height and weight,
smoking status, mental health and well-being along with attitudinal questions. Chi-square tests
and multivariate logistic regression were utilized (Murphy et al). After data on the topic is
attained, researchers conduct certain statistical tests and analyses on the data such as Over onethird of adolescents reported being hazardous drinkers (34.2 %), more males (39.6 %; 95 % CI
31.947.3 %)) than females (29.9 %; 95 % CI 23.536.2 %)). 68.2 % of these hazardous
drinking adolescents were under the age of 18 (Murphy et al). This is the part of statistical
experiments that requires knowledge specific to the discipline because it will the advanced
calculations as well as the specific vocab unique to statistics and might confuse any reader that is
not educated in the discipline. The researchers use the evidence they initially collected which in
this experiment was survey results, and turn this evidence into specific percentages among which
they can calculate different results.
After all of this is done, the researchers will create their conclusion which uses the results
calculated and explains the relevance of them and how they answer the driving question as a
whole. I find the conclusion to be the most powerful section of the experiment because it is
straight-forward and allows the reader to understand the importance of the study as a whole as
well as what they should do moving forward regarding the topic. This section of the experiment
is more personal because the researchers are summarizing what they found so there might be

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some first person as well as some reflection on what was good and bad about their experiment as
a tip for future researchers. In the main part of the conclusion, they are simply turning the
numbers into words so that everyone can understand the results such as The findings of this
research notes a liberal attitude to alcohol and increased levels of consumption by the parent are
linked to hazardous adolescent drinking behavior (Murphy et al). By stating this, the reader is
left understanding that there is a relationship between parental behavior and attitudes on alcohol
with their childrens behavior when it comes to alcohol. The researchers show the reader that
parents are a strong factor in underage drinking which is important to show other researchers and
people trying to reduce adolescent drinking to extend their research and efforts on the parenting
aspect because they have a strong influence as well as to parents out there who might not think
about the influence they have on their childs to change some of their actions. Due to this
disciplines research, a big step is made in the process of reducing underage drinking, one of the
biggest problems regarding alcohol worldwide.
Outside of statistics, another academic discipline that has shaped the topic of alcohol is
epidemiology, the study and analysis of causes and effects of certain health conditions. Relating
to alcohol, this discipline is answering the question of what the health effects are of drinking
alcohol on the human body. In the monograph I read, IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of
the Carcinogenic Risk to Humans of Alcohol Drinking, the researchers are focused on whether
or not alcohol influences the development of cancer in humans in hopes of ultimately reducing
the amount of cancer in the world.
Since this is a question that has requires answering underlying questions such as what the
chemical makeup of certain alcoholic drinks is, the difference between alcohol types, and how
the alcohol affects each part of the body, the researchers must answer all of these in the

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experiment to have a better idea of their overall question since multiple factors can contribute to
causing cancer. For this experiment, there could be huge implications in the world so all of the
researchers involved were proven scientists who had previous research on whether or not alcohol
influenced the development of cancer in humans. This is not an experiment that they could
simply conduct themselves to find a clear answer because they cant borrow humans and try to
develop cancer in them so the majority of the experiment is done by analyzing prior research and
individuals. To do this, the researchers looked over numerous studies and subjects to evaluate
their drinking behavior in addition to their prior health situation to better conclude how alcohol
influences cancer in different ways and on different parts of the body. One short analysis of the
effects of alcohol on the body from this research was Physical health problems include, notably,
cirrhosis of the liver, cancers at various sites, effects on the developing embryo and fetus, and
other diseases affecting the gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, respiratory, nervous and reproductive
systems (IARC). The researchers add all of the data they have collected from the separate
experiments to have a better understanding of both alcohol and the human body as a whole.
After conducting this research, the researchers now put all of the evidence they have
collected together to form their results. Now since this was a very broad question, there will
have to be a lot of results for the different types of cancers and other factors that might have
influenced or prevented the cause of cancer in these people. One example of the results found in
this study was These studies have consistently shown a strong correlation of esophageal cancer
with the index of alcohol consumption; less strong correlations have been seen for cancers of the
mouth, pharynx and stomach (IARC). Here, the researchers are restating what they found
throughout their study in a simpler and condenser form, but the style of writing in this section
will not be in first person and remain objective because the author is a representative of the

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group of researchers as opposed to one of the researchers themselves and it is a professional
experiment. By doing this, the writer eliminates the few biases that might have been present
with one of the researchers writing as well and leaves the reader to form their own opinions and
takeaways.
One thing that makes this specific discipline unique is the structure and writing of the
text. There is much more background information than usual to ensure the reader understands
the process and has no doubts or confusion. For example, in the monograph I read, there are
sections titled Worldwide Production and Use of Alcoholic Beverages and Biological Data
Relevant to the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risk to Humans explaining everything that the
reader might need to know to understand the rest of the experiment. In addition to this structure,
the advanced, scientific jargon such as carcinogenicity and xenobiotics makes it clear that
the intended audience is those that are familiar with the discipline prior to reading the text. As a
whole, the writing style of this discipline is very unique yet effective in achieving its purpose.
Altogether, the two disciplines of statistics and epidemiology are very different but
overlap in many ways when covering the same topic to achieve a similar goal. Even though
statistics is based on math while epidemiology is based on science and their methods of
experimentation are completely different, when researching the topic of alcohol both disciplines
serve the purpose of uncovering the negative impacts of alcohol and improving the presence of
alcohol in the world as a whole. Through the direct approach of surveying and calculating
statistical analysis, the statistical researchers were able to determine a relationship between
adolescent and parent drinking in hopes of reducing adolescent drinking worldwide. On the
other hand, the epidemiology study had a much less direct approach in which they observed
multiple past studies and subjects in which they ultimately found that alcohol does have a

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correlation with certain types of cancers in the human body as well as multiple other harmful
effects with the goal of reducing the harmful aspects of alcohol and number of cancer victims
worldwide. Even though these disciplines are very different and had different questions
regarding alcohol, the unique techniques of both disciplines showed the process in which they
were able to answer their main research questions and use that information to uncover the
harmful truth of alcohol in hopes of reducing the negative impact it has on the world as a whole
in the future.

Works Cited
1. Murphy, Eimar, Ian O'Sullivan, Derry O'Donovan, Ann Hope, and Martin P. Davoren.
"The Association between Parental Attitudes and Alcohol Consumption and Adolescent
Alcohol Consumption in Southern Ireland: A Cross-sectional Study." BMC Public
Health, August 18, 2016, 1-8. Accessed October 21, 2016.
http://web.b.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=cbeb3bc4-dd5c-4afe-ae4310f75e676108@sessionmgr107&vid=4&hid=116
2. IARC. (1988). World Health Organization. Lyon, France: International Agency for
Research on Cancer. Retrieved October 24, 2016, from
https://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Monographs/vol44/mono44.pdf.