04 December 2014 In Social and Cultural Aspects

AIMS: While laws restrict alcohol access to youth under the age of 16/18 (fermented/distilled beverages) in Switzerland, direct underage accessibility is high. Focusing on underage youth, our study presents an inventory of primary and alternative modes of access to alcohol and investigates associations with youth characteristics.

METHODS: Data were collected using semi-structured interviews and self-report questionnaires. In total, 223 underage youth aged 15-17 years were interviewed.

RESULTS: Overall, about half of the participants reported illegal commercial purchase, either direct or by underage peer, in on- (49.3%) and/or off-premise (48.0%) contexts. Off-premise purchase by proxy of legal age (30.5%; excluding shoulder-tapping), social supply off-premise (i.e. receiving/exchanging alcohol; 26.5%) and direct purchases in on- (13.9%) and off-premise (11.2%) contexts were the most recurrent primary modes of access. Significant associations of direct purchases with frequency of consumption and perceived alcohol availability were recorded. Associations between primary and alternative ways to access alcohol, in particular, between on-premise modes, were also evidenced.

CONCLUSION: Providing an overview of the context of underage alcohol access in Switzerland and an indirect view of youth perceptions of limitations of existing structural measures has identified particularly the need for enforcement of existing legislation.

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

Underage drinkers often use false identification to purchase alcohol or gain access into bars. In recent years, several states have introduced laws that provide incentives to retailers and bar owners who use electronic scanners to ensure that the customer is 21 years or older and uses a valid identification to purchase alcohol. This paper is the first to investigate the effects of these laws using confidential data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1997 Cohort (NLSY97). Using a difference-in-differences methodology, I find that the false ID laws with scanner provision significantly reduce underage drinking, including up to a 0.22 drink decrease in the average number of drinks consumed by underage youth per day. This effect is observed particularly in the short-run and more pronounced for non-college students and those who are relatively younger. These results are also robust under alternative model specifications. The findings of this paper highlight the importance of false ID laws in reducing alcohol consumption among underage youth.

04 December 2014 In Social and Cultural Aspects

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: There has been insufficient research attention to the alcohol industry's use of corporate sponsorship as a marketing tool. This paper provides a systematic investigation of the nature and extent of alcohol sponsorship-at the brand level-in the United States.

METHODS: The study examined sponsorship of organizations and events in the United States by alcohol brands from 2010 to 2013. The top 75 brands of alcohol consumed by underage drinkers were identified based on a previously conducted national internet-based survey. For each of these brands, a systematic search for sponsorships was conducted using Google. The sponsorships were coded by category and type of sponsorship.

RESULTS: We identified 945 sponsorships during the study period for the top 75 brands consumed by underage drinkers. The most popular youth brands were far more likely to engage in sponsorship and to have a higher number of sponsorships. The identified sponsorships overwhelmingly associated alcohol brands with integral aspects of American culture, including sports, music, the arts and entertainment, and drinking itself. The most popular brands among underage drinkers were much more likely to associate their brands with these aspects of American culture than brands that were less popular among underage drinkers.

CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol brand sponsorship must be viewed as a major alcohol marketing strategy that generates brand capital through positive associations with integral aspects of culture, creation of attractive brand personalities, and identification with specific market segments. Alcohol research, practice and policy should address this highly prevalent form of alcohol marketing.

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