Inderscience Publishers

Community support, perceived quality of the physical environment and relations between young people and adults

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This contribution presents the first results of an extensive research programme aimed at understanding the reasons behind the heavy consumption of alcohol and drugs. Starting from a socio-psychological perspective, the research group planned and conducted over 40 focus groups of young people and adults. All focus groups were subjected to a qualitative content analysis with the specific objective of identifying differences and analogies in the representations concerning specific areas: relationship and communicative processes, problems faced by young people, resources and opportunities in the surrounding environment and community, knowledge and consumption of psychotropic substances. The most significant findings are related to the importance of the physical environment and the lack of opportunities and social support, which are often expressed in the difficulty of making helping behaviours more spontaneous and in the limited use of social capital as a form of implicit cooperation and as a meeting point for the resources available within the community.

Keywords: qualitative methods, alcohol comsumption, drug consumption, family communication, community support, perceived environmental quality, young people, adults, youth, social capital, relationships, physical environment

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