Research & Resources

Youth in Cities with Comprehensive Social Host Laws Drink Less Frequently in Their Own Homes

In this study, researchers examined associations between city-level policies/enforcement operations (i.e., social host laws and party patrol operations) and youth drinking, heavy drinking, and drinking-related problems in private and public drinking contexts. They also examined whether these associations were modified by age. Surveyed were 580 youth (ages 16–20) living in 24 midsize California cities. Researchers found positive associations between more comprehensive city-level social host policies and decreased frequency of youth drinking and heavy drinking at music venues/youth heavy drinking and drinking-related problems at restaurants. Younger youth who lived in cities with more comprehensive social host laws drank heavily in their own homes less often than younger youth living in cities with less comprehensive social host laws. Youth ages 17 or under who lived in cities with more party patrol enforcement had higher odds of problems related to drinking outdoors in the past 12 months than those in cities with fewer party patrol operations. The researchers theorized that city-level alcohol policies and enforcement targeting underage drinking may have differential effects depending on youth drinking contexts and age.

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