To support the free and open dissemination of research findings and information on alcoholism and alcohol-related problems. To encourage open access to peer-reviewed articles free for all to view.

For full versions of posted research articles readers are encouraged to email requests for "electronic reprints" (text file, PDF files, FAX copies) to the corresponding or lead author, who is highlighted in the posting.


Friday, May 24, 2013

Tax Policy, Adult Binge Drinking, and Youth Alcohol Consumption in the United States

Prior research attributed youth alcohol consumption to the attitudes and drinking patterns among adults. Yet at a population level, few have examined the relationship between state-level adult binge drinking prevalence and youth drinking behaviors, or whether tax policy plays a role in this relationship.
We analyzed 6 biennial surveys (1999 to 2009) of individual-level youth alcohol use and related behaviors from state-based Youth Risk Behavior Surveys and corresponding years of state-level adult binge drinking prevalence from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. We employed logistic regression with generalized estimating equations method to assess the extent to which state adult binge drinking predicted individual-level youth drinking outcomes and examined the role of alcohol taxes in that relationship.
Population-aggregate analyses based on 194 state-year strata showed a positive correlation between state adult binge drinking and youth binge drinking (Pearson r = 0.40, p < 0.01). For individual-level youth drinking outcomes, a 5 percentage point increase in binge drinking prevalence among adults was associated with a 12% relative increase in the odds of alcohol use (adjusted OR = 1.12, 95% CI: 1.08, 1.16). Taxes were strongly inversely related with adult and youth drinking measures, and the effect of tax on youth drinking was attenuated after controlling for adult binge drinking
Both tax and adult binge drinking are strong predictors of youth drinking. Tax may affect youth drinking through its effect on adult alcohol consumption. Implementing effective alcohol policies to reduce excessive drinking in the general population is an important strategy to reduce youth drinking.

Read Full Abstract

Request Reprint E-Mail: