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J Adolesc Health. 2004 Oct;35(4):345.e17-26.

Adults' approval and adolescents' alcohol use.

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Department of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA.



To compare adults' approval of adolescents' alcohol use among white, black, and Latino youth and to evaluate the effects of approval on most recent alcohol consumption, past 30-day use and binge drinking.


A cross-sectional telephone survey of N = 6245 adolescents from 242 communities was conducted as part of the National Evaluation of the Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws Program. The survey assessed perceived availability of alcohol, underage alcohol use, and problems related to underage drinking. Ordinary least squares regression modeling was used to test the relationships between adults' approval and most recent consumption. Logistic regression modeling was used to measure the association among approval, past 30-day use and binge drinking.


Perceived consequences, parent and adult relative provision of alcohol, and drinking with a parent were protective of underage drinking. Providing alcohol at a party, however, was associated with a two-fold increase in past 30-day use and binge drinking. There were minimal differences on adults' approval across the three racial/ethnic groups.


Adults' approval of alcohol use is highly correlated with youth drinking behavior and has differential effects on adolescents' alcohol use depending on the social context in which the alcohol is provided.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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