28 August 2015 In Drinking & Driving

Alcohol consumption is a risk factor for motor vehicle accidents in young drivers. Crashes associated with alcohol consumption typically have greater severity. This study examines the prevalence of driving under the influence among Spanish youth and tests the theory of reasoned action as a model for predicting driving under the influence. Participants included 478 Spanish university students aged 17-26 years. Findings indicated that alcohol was the substance most associated with impaired driving, and was involved in more traffic crashes. Men engage in higher levels of alcohol and other drug use, and perceived less risk in drunk driving (p < .01). The study confirms that alcohol use and driving under the influence of alcohol are highly prevalent in Spanish young people, and some gender differences exist in these behaviors (p < .01). Furthermore, the study confirms the validity of theory of reasoned action as a predictive model of driving under the influence of alcohol among youth in Spain (p < .001) and can help in the design of prevention programs.

23 July 2015 In Social and Cultural Aspects

We investigated what local enforcement agencies are doing to target adults who provide alcohol to underage youth; what types of enforcement activities are being conducted to target adult providers; and factors that encourage enforcement activities that target adult providers. We surveyed 1,056 local law enforcement agencies in the US and measured whether or not the agency conducted enforcement activities that target adults who provide alcohol to underage youth. We also measured whether certain agency and jurisdiction characteristics were associated with enforcement activities that target adults who provide alcohol to underage youth. Less than half (42%) of local enforcement agencies conducted enforcement efforts targeting adults who provide alcohol to underage youth. Agencies that conducted the enforcement activities targeting adult providers were significantly more likely to have a full time officer specific to alcohol enforcement, a division specific to alcohol enforcement, a social host law, and to perceive underage drinking was very common. Results suggest that targeting social providers (i.e., adults over 21 years of age) will require greater law enforcement resources, implementation of underage drinking laws (e.g., social host policies), and changing perceptions among law enforcement regarding underage drinking. Future studies are needed to identify the most effective enforcement efforts and to examine how enforcement efforts are prospectively linked to alcohol consumption.

15 June 2015 In Social and Cultural Aspects

BACKGROUND: The relationship between the alcohol policy environment (ie, the combined effectiveness and implementation of multiple existing alcohol policies) and youth drinking in the United States has not been assessed. We hypothesized that stronger alcohol policy environments are inversely associated with youth drinking, and this relationship is partly explained by adult drinking.

METHODS: Alcohol Policy Scale (APS) scores that characterized the strength of the state-level alcohol policy environments were assessed with repeated cross-sectional Youth Risk Behavior Survey data of representative samples of high school students in grades 9 to 12, from biennial years between 1999 and 2011.

RESULTS: In fully adjusted models, a 10 percentage point increase in APS scores (representing stronger policy environments) was associated with an 8% reduction in the odds of youth drinking and a 7% reduction in the odds of youth binge drinking. After we accounted for youth-oriented alcohol policies, the subgroup of population-oriented policies was independently associated with lower odds of youth drinking (adjusted odds ratio 0.94; 95% confidence interval 0.92-0.97) and youth binge drinking (adjusted odds ratio 0.96; 95% confidence interval 0.94-0.99). State-level per capita consumption mediated the relationship between population-oriented alcohol policies and binge drinking among youth.

CONCLUSIONS: Stronger alcohol policies, including those that do not target youth specifically, are related to a reduced likelihood of youth alcohol consumption. These findings suggest that efforts to reduce youth drinking should incorporate population-based policies to reduce excessive drinking among adults as part of a comprehensive approach to preventing alcohol-related harms. Future research should examine influence of alcohol policy subgroups and discrete policies.

This study investigated whether underage drinkers with varied media use patterns differentially consume popular brands of alcohol. A survey was conducted with a national online panel of 1,032 underage youth 13-20 years of age who had consumed at least 1 drink in the past 30 days. A latent class analysis identified four distinct media use patterns. Further analyses explored whether these media use groups differentially consumed the most frequently used alcohol brands. The results showed that past 30-day consumption of specific alcohol brands differed significantly across the four media use clusters, even after controlling for sex, race/ethnicity, household income, U.S. geographic region, frequency of parent's alcohol overconsumption, cigarette smoking, and seatbelt use. This study shows that youth use media in different ways, and this differential use is significantly associated with the consumption of specific alcohol brands. The media clusters revealed in this analysis may inform future research about the association between specific alcohol media exposures and individual brand consumption.

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