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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Underage Drinkers Most Influenced By Alcohol Marketing More Likely to Report Dangerous Drinking Behaviors, Johns Hopkins and BU Study Suggests

Underage youth who cite alcohol marketing and the influence of adults, movies, or other media as the main reasons for choosing to consume a specific brand of alcohol are more likely to drink more and report adverse consequences from their drinking than youth who report other reasons for selecting a specific brand, new research suggests.

The findings, published in the May issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health, add to a growing body of research suggesting youth exposure to alcohol marketing affects their drinking behavior. The study was conducted by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth and the Boston University School of Public Health.

The researchers conducted an Internet survey in 2012 of 1,031 people between the ages of 13 and 20 who reported having consumed alcohol in the previous 30 days. Of those, 541 reported having a choice of multiple alcohol brands the last time they drank and researchers wanted to know why they chose the brand they did. They classified the underage drinkers into five groups:

“Almost one in three underage drinkers reports choosing a brand of alcohol to drink based on branding and marketing,” says lead study author Dr. Craig Ross, president of Fiorente Media, Inc., and BUSPH graduate. “These findings suggest that alcohol advertisements, media portrayals of alcohol use, and celebrity endorsements play a significant role in alcohol brand selection among young people.”

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