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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Social Influences on the Clustering of Underage Risky Drinking and Its Consequences in Communities

The purpose of this research was to examine whether the clustering of underage risky drinking and its consequences within communities might arise from shared perceptions regarding underage drinking as well as the social context of drinking. 

The Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws Randomized Community Trial provided data from repeated cross-sectional samples of 5,017 current drinkers (2,619 male) ages 14–20 years from 68 communities surveyed in 2004, 2006, and 2007. Alternating logistic regressions were used to estimate the influence of social factors on the clustering of getting drunk, heavy episodic drinking, nonviolent consequences, and driving after drinking or riding with a drinking driver. 

The clustering of getting drunk, heavy episodic drinking, and nonviolent consequences was no longer statistically significant after adjustment for drinking with friends and drinking with parents. Parents providing alcohol explained the clustering of heavy episodic drinking and nonviolent consequences, whereas drinking with other underage drinkers and friends providing alcohol explained the clustering of nonviolent consequences. Drinking with friends or other underage drinkers and friends providing alcohol increased the risk of these behaviors, whereas drinking with parents and parents providing alcohol were protective. Perceptions regarding peer drinking, community norms, consequences for drinking, and drinking at a party did not influence clustering. 

These findings suggest that interventions to reduce underage risky drinking in communities should focus on the differential effects of the social context in which drinking occurs.     

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