Rand Research Brief Summary, Drinking It In:
The Impact of Youth Exposure to Alcohol Advertising
The study I chose is a research brief found on the Rand Corporation website. It is written by Steven Martino, Rebecca L. Collins, Stephanie Ann Kovalchik, Claude Messan Setodji, Elizabeth J. D’Amico, Kirsten Becker, William G. Shadel, and Anagha Alka Tolpadi. The brief is titled, “Drinking It In: The Impact of Youth Exposure to Alcohol Advertising,” which can be found at this link: https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB10015.html
This is a correlation study that involved variables of youths’ opinions of alcohol before and after being exposed to alcohol advertising. “Rand researchers explored how many alcohol ads kids see, how those ads affect their attitudes, and how long they affect youths (Martino et al., 2018).” According to the research brief, 600 youths ages of eleven to thirteen using pre-programed cell phones as their instrument participated in the study (Martino et al., 2018).
The participants were asked that for two weeks, they went about their day and using the cell phone, reported each time they were exposed to an ad about alcohol. They reported their beliefs about drinking and reaction to the ad such as: did they like the ad, were skeptical of ad, did they believe the ad, or could they identify with the people in the ad (Martino et al., 2018). In addition, they had to answer those same questions at times when they were not seeing an ad but received a prompt to do so throughout the day. This gave the researchers something to compare to the feelings expressed directly after exposure to the ads (Martino et al., 2018).
The resulting exposures were: “30% of ads were outdoor displays, such as billboards and signs outside stores and bars…26% were television commercials…girls were exposed to 30% more ads than boys…African Americans were exposed to 4.1 ads per day and Hispanics were exposed 3.4 ads per day compared to white youths’ exposure of 2 ads per day (Martino et al., 2018).”
The participant results showed that youths viewed alcohol in a positive way after being exposed to the ads compared to when answering the random prompts with no exposure (Martino et al., 2018). The positive, reactions were: they liked, identified with, or were not skeptical of the ads. The study also revealed that the reaction or belief after just one exposure to an alcohol ad lasted up to two days (Martino et al., 2018).
I think this research is important because it shows a correlation between exposure to alcohol ads and youth’s positive perception of the appeal of alcohol. According to the brief, “Underage drinking substantially raises the risks of death from motor-vehicle crashes, from other accidents, and from homicide and suicide, which are the four leading causes of mortality for Americans under the age of twenty-one (Martino et al., 2018).”
I see this as a major public health concern. The alcohol ads should be banned from TV, Billboards and areas where youth can readily see them. Warnings should be placed on existing ads much like the warnings placed on cigarettes and cigarette ads. This research could help legislators create and enforce restrictions on alcohol ads. Funding should be increased to raise awareness and educate the public about the dangers of underage drinking. Hopefully, that will have a positive effect on youth and decrease the amount of underage drinking.
Martino, S., Collins, R. L., Kovalchik, S. A., Setodji, C. M., D’Amico, E. J., Becker, K., Shadel, W.G.., Tolpadi, A. A. (2018, May 23). Drinking It In: The Impact of Alcohol Advertising on Kids. Retrieved September 7, 2018, from https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB10015.html#related