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Alcohol Use Among Medically Vulnerable Youth

An assessment of approximately 400 youth ages 9-18 with chronic medical conditions found that more than a third of high school students reported past-year alcohol use.  More than half of those students revealed that alcohol can interfere with their medications and laboratory tests. The study, “Alcohol and Marijuana Use and Treatment Nonadherence Among Medically Vulnerable Youth”, is published in the August 2015 issue of Pediatrics. The National Institutes of Health supported this research effort.

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Gender Differences in Alcohol Use and Development of High Risk Youth

Eight hundred and fifty high-risk youth with low GPAs in an economically disadvantaged Midwest school district were recruited to participate in a study exploring gender differences in the students’ development related to substance use. Researchers followed students from ninth grade through young adulthood. The study found that males’ heavy drinking, nicotine use, and marijuana use grew persistently from adolescence through young adulthood while females gradually increased their nicotine use while maintaining low levels of heavy drinking and marijuana use.  The study also found that the effect of nicotine use quantity on heavy drinking was greater among males than females.

The study, “Gender Differences in the Developmental Trajectories of Multiple Substance Use and the Effect of Nicotine and Marijuana Use on Heavy Drinking in a High-risk Sample” is published in the November 2015 issue of Addictive Behaviors. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism supported this research effort.

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Content Analysis of Alcohol Advertising Themes in U.S. Television

An analysis of 581 television ads from the top 20 U.S. beer and spirit brands between July 2009 and July 2011 found that these ads aired nationally 272,828 times. The majority of the ads aired on entertainment (40 percent) and sports (38 percent) channels. The ads were coded into thematic content areas and fell into the following categories: “Partying,” “Quality,” “Sports,” “Manly,” and “Relax.” “Partying” was the most common theme as it represented 42 percent of all advertisements. The study, “Content Themes of Alcohol Advertising in U.S. Television—Latent Class Analysis” is published in the July 2015 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism supported this research effort.  

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The Effect of Mandated Drinking Interventions on College Students' Perceptions of Drinking

A recent study compared perceptions of college students of drinking alcohol before and after they participated in a required intervention. The students in the sample were required to complete the intervention after violating a campus alcohol policy.

Students reported an overall reduction in the amount and frequency of their drinking behavior after receiving a sanction from their college. Additionally, heavy drinking students who reported higher post-sanction drinking quantities held higher defensiveness perceptions. This perception did not influence drinking outcomes among light drinkers.

The study, The Impact of Defensiveness and Incident Reactions on Post-sanction Drinking Behaviors Among Mandated Students is published in the September 2015 issue of Addictive Behaviors. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism supported this research study.

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Evaluating Expressive Writing Alcohol Interventions

More than four hundred college students completed a baseline survey and an expressive writing intervention designed to reduce drinking intentions among college students. The study assigned students to one of three conditions:

  • Negative (write about a negative heavy drinking event)
  • Neutral (write about the student’s first day of college)
  • Positive (write about a heavy drinking event that was positive)

The study found that students who wrote about negative heavy drinking events di