Article

Determinants of underage college student drinking: implications for four major alcohol reduction strategies.

Department of Advertising and Public Relations, Hanyang University, Ansan, Republic of Korea.
Journal of Health Communication (Impact Factor: 1.61). 01/2012; 17(6):659-76. DOI: 10.1080/10810730.2011.635765
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Guided by the assumptions of the social ecological model and the social marketing approach, this study provides a simultaneous and comprehensive assessment of 4 major alcohol reduction strategies for college campuses: school education programs, social norms campaigns, alcohol counter-marketing, and alcohol control policies. Analysis of nationally representative secondary survey data among 5,472 underage students reveals that alcohol marketing seems to be the most formidable risk factor for underage drinking, followed by perceived drinking norms (injunctive norm) and lax policy enforcement. This analysis suggests that, to make social norms campaigns and alcohol control policies more effective, alcohol reduction strategies should be developed to counter the powerful influence of alcohol marketing and promotions.

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    ABSTRACT: The consumption of alcohol by college students is a significant public health concern, and a large amount of literature explores this issue. Much of the focus is on the prevalence and correlates of binge drinking. Relatively few studies explore reductions in drinking, and these generally focus on reductions that occur during college. We examined the transition between high school and college and sought to understand the characteristics and behaviors of students that are related to reductions in the consumption of alcohol during this transition. We used data from all four rounds of the Harvard School of Public Health's College Alcohol Survey and logistic regression models to relate the status of reduced alcohol consumption to five groups of variables: demographic and parental variables, other substance use, social environment, student activities, and alcohol policies. A number of characteristics were related to reductions in drinking. Students whose fathers did not attend college were more likely to reduce alcohol consumption (odds ratio [OR] =1.28; 95% confidence interval [CI] =1.06-1.55), whereas students who prioritize parties (OR =0.35; CI =0.30-0.43) and who have recently smoked cigarettes (OR =0.52; CI =0.41-0.64) or marijuana (OR =0.52; CI =0.40-0.67) or whose fathers are moderate (OR =0.73; CI =0.55-0.96) or heavy (OR =0.72; CI =0.53-0.96) drinkers were less likely to reduce alcohol consumption. The results highlight the importance of family background and social environment on reductions in drinking.
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Jun 5, 2014