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Understanding the Issue

Prevention of underage drinking is aimed at reducing a young person’s risk of using alcohol or increasing factors that help protect them against alcohol use. Factors Affecting Underage Drinking provides a developmental and environmental context for understanding underage alcohol use and its prevention. Visit the Data page for more facts about underage drinking and its consequences.

Factors Affecting Underage Drinking

Pediatrics, Issue Supplement: Underage Drinking
This special issue of Pediatrics focuses on underage drinking, beginning with a developmental framework for understanding and addressing this public health problem. Three articles look specifically at UAD prevalence and risk among children under age 10, early adolescents aged 10–15, and late adolescents aged 16–20. Three additional articles review the state of the science on prevention and treatment interventions for UAD. Articles in this supplement present the results of the discussions about UAD that took place among members of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Team on Underage Drinking and its group of outside experts. (Pediatrics; 2008)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Short Reports on Underage Drinking
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), conducted annually by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), is the primary source of information on the prevalence, patterns, and consequences of alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drug use and abuse in the general U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population, ages 12 and older. SAMHSA summarizes data and findings in a full survey report annually as well as in special short reports related to underage drinking. Relevant reports on factors affecting underage drinking follow.

Adolescent and School Health: School Connectedness
School connectedness—the belief held by students that adults and peers in the school care about their learning as well as about them as individuals—is an important protective factor. Research has shown that young people who feel connected to their school are less likely to engage in many risk behaviors, including alcohol, tobacco, and drug use, violence, and early sex. This fact sheet describes six strategies that teachers, administrators, other school staff, and parents can implement to increase the extent to which students feel connected to school. Links to additional resources also are provided. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; updated September 2015)