142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Linking Alcohol Advertising and Underage Drinking: Triangulation of Data from Content Analysis, Youth Survey, and Market Exposure Data

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014

Alisa Padon, PhD, MBE , Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Rajiv N. Rimal, PhD , Department of Prevention and Community Health, George Washington University, Washington, DC
David H. Jernigan, PhD , Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Background: Youth exposure to alcohol marketing is a major public health issue, given its potential influence on drinking behaviors. Although television alcohol advertisements are known to appeal to youth, linking youth exposure to advertisements with underage alcohol consumption has remained a challenge.

Purpose: We tested the joint influence of exposure and content on youth consumption.

Methods: Ninety-six televised alcohol ads (based on popularity of shows in which they appeared, as per market exposure data) were analyzed for primarily youthful content appeal (PYCA). Brand PYCA scores’ association with youth and adult brand-specific consumption data from two national surveys was tested, and the multiplicative influence of content and exposure data was tested through linear regression.

Results: PYCA score was associated positively with youth consumption (β=.15, p<.001) and negatively with adult consumption (β=-.15, p<.001). Further, the association between PYCA score and youth consumption was present only among popular brands (β=.33, p<.001).

Among the most popular brands, exposure was negatively associated with youth consumption (β=-.14, p<.001). Among less popular brands, exposure was positively associated with youth consumption (β=.39, p < .01), and there was an interaction effect such that higher PYCA score strengthened the effect of exposure on consumption for youth.

Conclusion: Interaction between content and exposure strengthens the likelihood of youth consumption of specific brands, particularly brands that have not yet established high levels of popularity among youth. Policies and future research should consider the joint influence of content and exposure in order to reduce the influence of alcohol advertising on underage drinking.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify sources of inconsistency in the alcohol research literature on the relationship between advertising exposure and underage drinking. Discuss study findings within policy change efforts to regulate alcohol advertising.

Keyword(s): Adolescents, Media

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: The content presented comes from my dissertation project.
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.