Online Program

Rural youth alcohol consumption, access and perceptions in one Alaskan community: Implications for strategic prevention

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Deana Glick, MPH, Department of Health Sciences, Master of Public Health Program, University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, AK
Rhonda M. Johnson, DrPH, MPH, FNP, Health Sciences, University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, AK
A rural, culturally diverse community in Alaska faces issues with underage drinking. Little has been known about the causes of youth drinking in this community. The goal of this study was to assist a local community coalition investigate youth alcohol consumption, access, and perceptions. Quantitative methods consisted of secondary data review of YRBS data and administering a youth alcohol use survey. Qualitative methods consisted of developing and performing youth key informant interviews and youth focus groups. The survey results suggest that about one in five of the youth (18%) have had at least one drink of alcohol on one or more of the past 30 days and about 15% had 5 or more drinks within a couple of hours on one or more of the past 30 days. The survey results also suggest that 70% of the youth perceive that their parents think it is very wrong to drink alcohol regularly. Also, 85% of youth perceived that there is no or very little chance of drinking alcohol regularly as being seen as cool. The focus group and key informant interview results suggest that youth alcohol use does occur, mostly in the 15-20 age groups, resulting from boredom and lack of activities. Access to alcohol was suggested to mostly come from adults over age 21 buying alcohol for youth. Most of the youth viewed consequences to drinking as insignificant. This research helped to reveal underage drinking factors in this community and has implications for underage drinking prevention in other rural communities.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Diversity and culture
Public health or related education
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the alcohol consumption behaviors and perceptions of these rural Alaska youth in state and national context. Identify the factors that contribute to youth alcohol use and access in this community. Describe how the local coalition is using these data to implement evidence-based strategies to reduce youth alcohol access and use.

Keyword(s): Rural Communities, Youth Access

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a graduate assistant on a collaborative community substance abuse prevention project with a rural Alaskan community for the past year. I have completed interim products to assist the evaluation process, made several site visits to the community, and taken an active lead in collecting and analyzing data and preparing assessment reports. Among my public health interests has been the development for analyzing the status of youth alcohol use in this community.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.