Online Program

Evaluation of the enforcing underage drinking laws (EUDL) program on alcohol-related attitudes, behaviors and consequences in the air force: Survey findings

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Alisha Creel, Ph.D., Public Health and Survey Research Division, ICF International, Fairfax, VA
Ronald Szoc, Ph.D., Public Health and Survey Research Division, ICF International, Fairfax, VA
Problematic alcohol use has remained a consistent issue in the U.S. military. In 2006, the Office for Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention funded four states to reduce drinking among underage airmen at five Air Force bases and their surrounding communities through its Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws (EUDL) discretionary grant program; two additional states received funding in 2009. Using an environmental approach, the communities' program interventions included enforcement to reduce the social availability of alcohol; compliance checks of local liquor establishments; impaired driving enforcement; local policy development; community-based awareness/media campaigns; and offering alternative activities that did not include drinking. This project evaluates the impact of these activities on underage drinking and alcohol-related misconducts among Air Force personnel. We matched each demonstration base to a comparison base with similar mission, size, location (urban/rural), and baseline alcohol use. We conducted a web-based survey of 18-25 year old airmen at the demonstration and comparison sites on alcohol-related attitudes, self-reported behaviors, and negative consequences. Post-test comparisons among the original five demonstration bases and their comparison sites indicated lower problem drinking and an attenuation of the deleterious effects of deployment length and frequency on problem drinking at the demonstration sites versus the comparison sites. We present new findings comparing changes from the pre-intervention to post-intervention period in attitudes toward underage drinking, underage drinking behaviors, and negative consequences of alcohol consumption between the new demonstration and comparison bases. We discuss the implications of our findings for implementing and evaluating environmental strategies to reduce underage drinking.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
List environmental strategies for reducing underage drinking. Describe the impact of environmental strategies on problem drinking in the Air Force. Discuss implications of evaluation findings of environmental strategies for reducing underage drinking.

Keyword(s): Evaluation, Alcohol Use

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Principal Investigator on the Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws military evaluation and on a EUDL Field-Initiated Research and Evaluation grant to evaluate the impact of environmental strategies on underage drinking.
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.