Research – General Underage Drinking Issues

Research – General Underage Drinking Issues


Adults’ Approval and Adolescents’ Alcohol Use

Journal of Adolescent Health. 2004; 34:345.e17
A study from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center found that parents strongly influence their children’s drinking behavior. Researchers at Wake Forest analyzed survey data from the National Evaluation of the Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws Program and found that adults’ approval of alcohol use is highly correlated with youth drinking behavior. Teens were twice as likely to binge drink and use alcohol within a 30-day period if their parents or friends’ parents provided alcohol at their homes for a party. The study also showed that parents who set strict consequences for breaking the house rules regarding drinking can help prevent underage drinking.

America’s Drop Out Crisis: The Unrecognized Connection to Adolescent Substance Use

Institute for Behavior and Health Report
March 2013
Experts at the Institute for Behavior and Health, Inc. (IBH) and the Center on Young Adult Health and Development (CYAHD) at the University of Maryland, School of Public Health investigated the connection between adolescent substance use and the risk for dropout in the U.S. and published a report about their findings.

Brief Counseling by Primary-Care Doctors

Ann Fam Med. September 1, 2004; vol. 2, no. 5, 474-480
A study says that greater use of brief counseling by primary-care doctors can reduce drinking among young adults aged 18 to 30. The research found that young people who received counseling reduced their use of alcohol by 40 to 50 percent, had 42 percent fewer visits to the emergency department, and had 55 percent fewer motor-vehicle crashes than those who did not receive counseling.

NIH issues online course on screening youth for alcohol problems

National Institutes of Health (NIH) News
August 12, 2013
This news release provides information about a new online training course produced by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and Medscape to help health care professionals conduct fast, evidence-based alcohol screening and brief intervention with youth. According to the news release, course participants learn how to use a quick and powerful two-question screening tool, and includes an innovative risk estimator, as well as teaches health care professionals how to conduct different levels of intervention for lower, moderate, and highest risk patients. In addition, course participants also receive an overview of brief motivational interviewing, an interactive, youth-friendly intervention considered to have the best potential effectiveness for the adolescent population.

Physician Advice to Adolescents About Drinking and Other Health Behaviors

Pediatrics. 2012 – 1496
This report assessed the proportion of US 10th graders (average age, 16) who saw a physician in the past year and were asked and given advice about their drinking. In the past month, 36% reported drinking, 28% reported bingeing, and 23% reported drunkenness (11%, 5%, and 7%, respectively, 6 or more times). In the past year, 82% saw a doctor. Of that group, 54% were asked about drinking, 40% were advised about related harms, and 17% were advised to reduce or stop. Efforts are warranted to increase the proportion of physicians who follow professional guidelines to screen and counsel adolescents about unhealthy alcohol use and other behaviors that pose health risks.

The Prospective Association Between Sipping Alcohol by the Sixth Grade and Later Substance Use

Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 76(2), 212-221 (2015)
Researchers conducted a web-based study on alcohol initiation and progression and found that youth who sipped alcohol by sixth grade had significantly greater odds of consuming a full drink, getting drunk, and drinking heavily by ninth grade than non-sippers. Researchers conclude that early sipping is associated with elevated odds of risky behaviors at high school entry despite the idea of sipping as a protective factor. Offering even just a sip of alcohol may undermine messages about the unacceptability of alcohol consumption for youth.

Who Drinks Where: Youth Selection of Drinking Contexts

Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. Published online March 17, 2015. doi: 10.1111/acer.12670

This longitudinal study examined drinking patterns, and demographic and psychosocial characteristics associated with youth drinking in different contexts. The contexts in which youths consume alcohol change over time. These changes vary by individual characteristics such as gender, age, drinking frequency, and deviant behaviors. The redistribution of drinking contexts over the early life course may contribute to specific risks associated with different drinking contexts. According to one research scientist, this study may help prevention advocates understand potential dynamics that underlie the social ecology of drinking problems among youths and support the development of context-based interventions to target specific youths and prevent alcohol use and related negative outcomes.


Medical Reviewer