04 December 2014 In Social and Cultural Aspects

OBJECTIVE: There have been conflicting findings in the literature concerning the risks to adolescents when parents provide them with alcohol. Studies have examined various ways in which parents directly affect adolescent alcohol consumption through provision (e.g., parental offers, parental allowance/supervision, parental presence while drinking, and parental supply). This review synthesizes findings on the direct ways parental provision can influence a child's alcohol consumption and related problems in an effort to provide parents with science-based guidance. We describe potential mechanisms of the relationship between these parental influences and adolescent problems, suggest future directions for research, and discuss implications for parents.

METHOD: Twenty-two studies (a mix of cross-sectional and longitudinal) that empirically examined the association between parental provision and adolescent drinking outcomes were reviewed.

RESULTS: Parental provision was generally associated with increased adolescent alcohol use and, in some instances, increased heavy episodic drinking as well as higher rates of alcohol-related problems. Data in support of the view that parental provision serves as a protective factor in the face of other risk factors were equivocal.

CONCLUSIONS: The nature and extent of the risks associated with parental provision, and the potential mechanisms underlying this association, are complex issues. Although more rigorous studies with longitudinal designs are needed, parents should be aware of potential risks associated with providing adolescents with alcohol and a place to drink. It is recommended that parents discourage drinking until adolescents reach legal age.

04 December 2014 In Social and Cultural Aspects

PURPOSE: Exposure to alcohol use in media is associated with adolescent alcohol use. Adolescents frequently display alcohol references on Internet media, such as social networking web sites. The purpose of this study was to conduct a theoretically based content analysis of older adolescents' displayed alcohol references on a social networking web site.

METHODS: We evaluated 400 randomly selected public MySpace profiles of self-reported 17- to 20-year-olds from zip codes, representing urban, suburban, and rural communities in one Washington county. Content was evaluated for alcohol references, suggesting: (1) explicit versus figurative alcohol use, (2) alcohol-related motivations, associations, and consequences, including references that met CRAFFT problem drinking criteria. We compared profiles from four target zip codes for prevalence and frequency of alcohol display.

RESULTS: Of 400 profiles, 225 (56.3%) contained 341 references to alcohol. Profile owners who displayed alcohol references were mostly male (54.2%) and white (70.7%). The most frequent reference category was explicit use (49.3%); the most commonly displayed alcohol use motivation was peer pressure (4.7%). Few references met CRAFFT problem drinking criteria (3.2%). There were no differences in prevalence or frequency of alcohol display among the four sociodemographic communities.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite alcohol use being illegal and potentially stigmatizing in this population, explicit alcohol use is frequently referenced on adolescents' MySpace profiles across several sociodemographic communities. Motivations, associations, and consequences regarding alcohol use referenced on MySpace appear consistent with previous studies of adolescent alcohol use. These references may be a potent source of influence on adolescents, particularly given that they are created and displayed by peers.

04 December 2014 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

BACKGROUND: Alcohol policies and interventions seek to curtail risky single-occasion drinking (RSOD) and the negative health and public order consequences. Yet RSOD behaviors are not easily defined since people can drink excessively at a variety of locations and drink a range of products. The current study examines the presence and correlates of different typologies or classes of drinking behavior on 1 Saturday night to facilitate a nuanced policy response to harmful drinking.

METHODS: Data from 1,883 adults aged 18 to 30 were collected using an online survey. Latent class analysis was used to categorize respondents into mutually exclusive classes based on the quantity, type, and unit cost of alcohol consumed plus location of alcohol consumption on the past Saturday night. Significant correlates and predictors of latent class membership were then identified using regression analysis.

RESULTS: Seven distinct classes were identified that represent qualitatively distinct profiles of Saturday night drinking behavior among young adults. Multivariate analyses indicated that alcohol risk (measured using the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test), age, and recent (past 12 months) stimulant use were strong predictors of heavier drinking. The heaviest drinkers also consumed some of the cheapest alcohol and consumed alcohol at multiple locations over the course of the night.

CONCLUSIONS: Given the large degree of heterogeneity among drinking behaviors, policy makers need to be cognizant that alcohol type and drinking location-specific policies may be less effective in targeting some groups of the population.

04 December 2014 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

BACKGROUND: Recently, Marczinski and colleagues (2013) showed that energy drinks combined with alcohol augment a person's desire to drink more alcohol relative to drinking alcohol alone. The current study replicates the findings of Marczinski and colleagues (2013) using a robust measure of alcohol craving.

METHODS: Seventy-five participants aged 18 to 30 years were assigned to an alcohol only or alcohol+energy drink condition in a double-blind randomized pre- versus posttest experiment. Participants received a cocktail containing either 60 ml of vodka and a Red Bull((R)) Silver Edition energy drink (alcohol+energy drink condition) or 60 ml of vodka with a soda water vehicle (alcohol-only condition); both cocktails contained 200 ml of fruit drink. The primary outcome measure was the Alcohol Urge Questionnaire taken at pretest and at 20 minutes (posttest). Other measures taken at posttest were the Biphasic Alcohol Effects Questionnaire, the Drug Effects Questionnaire, and breath alcohol concentration (BAC).

RESULTS: The alcohol+energy drink condition showed a greater pre- versus posttest increase in urge to drink alcohol compared with the alcohol-only condition (B = 3.24, p = 0.021, d = 0.44). Participants in the alcohol+energy drink condition had significantly higher ratings on liking the cocktail and wanting to drink more of the cocktail, and lower BACs, than the alcohol-only condition. When examined at specific BACs, the effect of the energy drink on the pre- to posttest increase in urge to drink was largest and only significant at BACs of 0.04-0.05 (cf. < 0.04 g/dl).There were no significant differences in stimulation, sedation, feeling the effects of the cocktail, or feeling high.

CONCLUSIONS: Combining energy drinks with alcohol increased the urge to drink alcohol relative to drinking alcohol alone. More research is needed to understand what factors mediate this effect and whether it increases subsequent alcohol consumption.

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