Determinants of underage college student drinking: implications for four major alcohol reduction strategies.
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: To test whether college youth smoking risks are independently associated with community patterns of alcohol availability and control. Hierarchical multilevel multivariable modelling of cross sectional survey data. Outcomes included self reported current (past 30 day) cigarette smoking and heavy episodic (binge) drinking. 120 nationally representative US colleges. 10 924 randomly selected students. Individual risks for smoking and binge drinking are independently associated with community patterns of alcohol availability, policy enforcement and control over and above individual perceptions about these factors, student and college characteristics, and school binge drinking rates. Youth exposed to high levels of alcohol availability are at higher risk of smoking (OR 3.61, 95% CI 1.75, 7.44) and binge drinking (OR 4.22, 95% CI 2.25, 7.93) than youth not so exposed; youth exposed to strongly enforced alcohol policy environments are at lower risk for smoking (OR 0.30, 95% CI 0.16, 0.57) and binge drinking (OR 0.17, 95% CI 0.10, 0.31) than youth not so exposed; youth exposed to communities with strong parental controls are at lower risk for smoking (OR 0.05, 95% CI 0.01, 0.23) and binge drinking (OR 0.06, 95% CI 0.01, 0.21) than youth not so exposed. Individual risks related to environmental exposures differ for youth with varying perceptions about alcohol availability and policy control. Drinking environments in US college communities comprise strong independent risks for smoking. Smoking prevention models should be tested that include environmental drinking prevention strategies tailored to underlying perceptions and experiences of college youth.Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health 01/2006; 59(12):1065-71. · 3.39 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Heavy episodic or binge drinking has been recognized as a major problem on American college campuses affecting the health, safety, and education of students. The present study examines the alcohol environment surrounding college campuses and assesses the impact on students' drinking. This environment includes alcohol promotions, price specials, and advertising at drinking establishments that serve beer for on-premise consumption as well as retail outlets that sell beer for off-premise consumption. The study used student self-report data from the 2001 College Alcohol Study (CAS) and direct observational assessments by trained observers who visited alcohol establishments in communities where the participating colleges were located. The analytic sample included more than 10,000 students as well as 830 on-premise and 1684 off-premise establishments at 118 colleges. Alcohol specials, promotions, and advertisements were prevalent in the alcohol outlets around college campuses. Almost three quarters of on-premise establishments offered specials on weekends, and almost one half of the on-premise establishments and more than 60% of off-premise establishments provided at least one type of beer promotion. The availability of large volumes of alcohol (24- and 30-can cases of beer, kegs, party balls), low sale prices, and frequent promotions and advertisements at both on- and off-premise establishments were associated with higher binge drinking rates on the college campuses. In addition, an overall measure of on- and off-premise establishments was positively associated with the total number of drinks consumed. The regulation of marketing practices such as sale prices, promotions, and advertisements may be important strategies to reduce binge drinking and its accompanying problems.American Journal of Preventive Medicine 11/2003; 25(3):204-11. · 3.95 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To evaluate a widely used intervention to reduce college student alcohol use, we studied student drinking patterns at colleges that employed social norms marketing programs and those that did not. We examined responses of students in the Harvard School of Public Health College Alcohol Study (CAS) 1997, 1999 and 2001 data sets at 37 colleges that employed social norms marketing programs and at 61 that did not. Information about the students' drinking behavior and their familiarity with social norms marketing messages at their schools was analyzed, as were college administrators' reports about the implementation of social norms marketing campaigns. Schools were grouped on the basis of student reports of exposure to programmatic materials. Trend analyses were conducted on seven standard measures of alcohol consumption, including annual and 30-day use, frequency, usual quantity and volume consumed, heavy episodic use, and drunkenness. Almost half of the CAS colleges sampled adopted social norms programs. Those that did were more likely to have large enrollments, not to be religiously affiliated and to have high rates of alcohol use. No decreases were noted in any of the seven measures of alcohol use at schools with social norms programs, even when student exposure and length of program existence were considered. Increases in measures of monthly alcohol use and total volume consumed, however, were observed at schools employing social norms programs. This study does not provide evidence to support the effectiveness of social norms marketing programs, as currently utilized, in reducing alcohol use among college students.Journal of studies on alcohol 08/2003; 64(4):484-94.