Research & Resources

Covid-19 Shelter-in-Place, Modified Reopening Orders, and Order Compliance Impact on Adolescent Alcohol Use and Drinking Contexts in California: A Longitudinal Analysis

This study evaluated how shelter-in-place (SIP), modified reopening orders, and self-reported compliance with these orders have affected adolescent alcohol frequency and quantity of use during the COVID-19 pandemic. Difference-in-differences (DID) models and multilevel modeling analyses were conducted on longitudinal data collected as part of a larger study on alcohol use among adolescents in California. Adolescents (1,350) at baseline contributed 7,467 observations for a baseline survey and five 6-month follow-up surveys. Analytic samples ranged from 3,577–6,245 participant observations based on models. Alcohol use outcomes included participant frequency (days) and quantity (number of whole drinks) of alcohol use in past 1-month and past 6-month periods. Context-specific alcohol use outcomes included past 6-month frequency and quantity of use at restaurants, bars/nightclubs, outside, one’s own home, another’s home, and fraternities/sororities. The study also assessed participants’ self-reported compliance with orders in essential business/retail spaces and at outdoor/social settings. DID results indicated that being under a modified reopening order was associated with decreases in the past 6-month quantity of alcohol use. Higher self-reported compliance with SIP orders related to outdoor/social settings was associated with decreases in overall drinking frequency and quantity, as well as decreases in frequency and quantity of alcohol use in all contexts in the past 6 months. Higher self-reported compliance with SIP orders related to essential businesses/retail spaces was associated with decreased frequency and quantity of alcohol use at another’s home and outside. These results suggest that while SIP and modified reopening policies may not directly affect adolescent alcohol use or drinking contexts, individual compliance with such orders may be a protective factor of alcohol use.

This paper, “Covid-19 shelter-in-place, modified reopening orders, and order compliance impact on adolescent alcohol use and drinking contexts in California: A longitudinal analysis,” was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and published in the journal Addictive behaviors.

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