Department of Educational Psychology


Date of this Version



Newman, I.M., Jinnai, I., Zhao, J., Huang, Z.Q., Pu, J., Qian, L. (2013). Social meaning of alcohol-related flushing among university students in China. Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Health, 25(5):409-419 doi:10.1177/1010539511420702


© 2011 APJPH


This study explored drinking patterns, alcohol-related flushing, and ways students themselves and other people respond to flushing in drinking situations. Of 1080 Chinese undergraduate university students given the survey questionnaire, 725 (67.1%) returned the completed surveys. Eighty percent of the students were drinkers (93% of males and 69% of females); 68% of the drinkers were flushers. Most of the students (59.3%) said flushing had no special meaning, that is, would ignore flushing; 54% of the flushers said they could keep drinking “but less” when they flush; 27% of the students said that a flushing person should stop drinking; however, if the flushing person is a girl, 89% of the students said the girl should drink less or stop. If the flushing person was a boy, 61% of students said he should drink less or stop. The data do suggest gender differences in the understanding of and social reaction to alcohol-related flushing, and these differences raise interesting questions as to how flushing acts as a potential protective factor against alcohol misuse.