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Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2001 Apr;25(4):549-56.

Sociodemographic and individual predictors of alcohol policy attitudes: results from a US probability sample.

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  • 1School of Hygiene and Public Health, Department of Mental Hygiene, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.



Public views on alcohol policies have facilitated legislative change. Given limited resources, however, policy makers and prevention advocates cannot make haphazard attempts to mobilize public resources. This investigation reports sociodemographic and individual traits predicting attitudes on alcohol policies designed to reduce underage alcohol consumption. Previous studies have examined single-item measures of alcohol policy. We examined predictors of multi-item scales measuring five core dimensions of alcohol policy.


A survey of public attitudes on alcohol policies was administered to a US national probability sample of 7021 adults.


Women, infrequent drinkers, and adults with greater knowledge about or concern for youth exhibited the greatest support across five alcohol policy scales. Older adults favored policies that restrict alcohol use in public places, whereas younger adults favored an increase in alcohol taxes to address underage alcohol use.


Individual factors such as alcohol use frequency and concern for youth explained larger proportions of variance in alcohol policy attitudes than did sociodemographic factors. Consistent with previous research, political orientation, parental status, employment status, and marital status did not predict attitudes on alcohol policy.

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