Boozing's shock toll revealed

The student questions have concentrated on the quantitative literacy aspect of the article involving the way data are reported and how they can possibly be manipulated to bias the results published.

The article also has the potential to be included in discussions about the impact of the use of alcohol by young people on the community in SOSE. There is the potential to discuss the ramifications of a person's death extending far beyond the effect it has on the immediate family that has suffered the loss.

Discussions within the class would include the difference between acute and chronic effects. It would also be necessary to talk about the way the data have been represented. The researchers have reported in person-years of life lost annually as opposed to the number of deaths. Does this have a dehumanising effect on the data and is this necessary to make evident the full impact of the problem on the whole community?

(Written by Noleine Fitzallen, BTeach student, University of Tasmania, 2001)

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