Wednesday, May 29, 2019: 4:00 PM-5:30 PM
Grand Ballroom A (Hyatt Regency San Francisco)
Theme: Research, Policy, and Practice
Richard F. Catalano
Underage drinking and excessive alcohol use by adults have been linked with a host of costly, negative outcomes spanning physical and mental health, social functioning, and economic indicators. These problems have been observed in multiple countries. National and local level governments have instituted policies and laws aimed at minimizing the impact of alcohol misuse on public health. Cross-national studies examining the impact of differing policies on rates of alcohol misuse and related harms offer important insights into which policies may be most effective for preventing alcohol misuse and related harms. The International Youth Development Study (IYDS) began in 2002, and includes 1,945 individuals recruited from the State of Victoria in Australia and the State of Washington in the US. The IYDS aims to compare in these two states the rates of alcohol misuse, the levels of risk and protective factors for alcohol misuse, and the etiologic processes that lead to alcohol misuse across development. Victoria and Washington are well-suited for comparison due to their similarity in demographic and economic characteristics but their differing policy approach toward alcohol. Victoria takes a harm minimization approach toward underage and adult drinking, whereas Washington takes a zero-tolerance approach to underage drinking and expressly targets alcohol consumption among adults in addition to alcohol-related harms. The papers in this panel examine the intersection of alcohol policy and alcohol misuse through a cross-national lens. Paper 1 examines continuity and discontinuity between early onset drinking and later alcohol misuse, finding that factors related to continuity in alcohol problems included maternal education, sex, and age 25 employment. Factors related to discontinuity (no early problems, but later risky/harmful use) included age 25 family conflict and homelessness. Paper 2 looks at cross-national differences in workplace alcohol policy and its link to alcohol misuse at age 25. Results suggest that alcohol is more available in the workplace in Victoria, but that workplace alcohol availability is more closely linked to alcohol misuse in Washington. Paper 3 gives an overview of developmental, cross-national studies of alcohol policy, and presents data on reductions in school-age alcohol use in Australia that were predicted by evidence-based changes in adolescent alcohol supply policies. Implications for alcohol policy and prevention will be discussed.
* noted as presenting author
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