Alcohol misuse presents a major risk for health and well-being throughout the life-span, but youth have a special vulnerability. Alcohol is the most widely used drug by adolescents. For some, this may be one or two isolated occasions of youthful experimentation; for others, the use becomes excessive, placing them in danger of immediate adverse consequences such as accidental injury and alcohol poisoning, or encouraging other high-risk behavior patterns including unprotected sex. Moreover, a pattern of heavy drinking established in adolescence and young adulthood may continue into an adult pattern of alcohol abuse.
Concerned communities and institutions across the nation are tackling the problem of alcohol use and abuse by young people. Research-based knowledge is urgently needed to inform these efforts and to ensure that limited prevention resources are used as effectively as possible. The origins of youthful alcohol use and abuse are found within the complex interplay of individual characteristics, family and peer influences, the larger societal context for alcohol use, environmental conditions, and maturational processes that accompany adolescence.
This volume, which began as a special issue of the Journal of Research on Adolescence, contains all of the material from the journal issue plus additional chapters. It helps researchers to meet the tremendous challenge of disentangling the key determinants of risk, and developing effective interventions. Primary sources of influence on youthful alcohol use are described, ranging from individual expectancies about alcohol effects and cognitive decision processes to parenting practices, peer influences, social environments, and economic factors; and a corresponding range of prevention interventions is discussed. This book will serve as a primer to those with an interest in developing and improving effective programs and activities to reduce alcohol-related problems among young people. For those engaged in prevention research, the text will provide useful reviews and current findings that should aid in directing future research activities.
"This book has detailed a new generation of research that provides many promising approaches with strong theoretical and empirical bases….those interested in prevention of alcohol problems among adolescents should have this book in their collection."
—Journal of Adolescence
"The editors have compiled a valuable volume of reviews on different aspects of the problematic consumption of the beverage of alcohol by young people. This book includes 11 chapters, each of which presents an informative and lucid discussion of available evidence….offers a well-formulated mixture of epidemiological research….All [chapters] present fresh material and offer a broad perspective, with considerable relevance to other settings….This is a well presented, original and valuable collection of reviews which should be of interest to any serious student of the thorny scientific and policy issues around youthful drinking."
Alcohol Research Group, University of Edinburgh
Contents: E. Gordis, Foreword. Preface. J. Howard, G.M. Boyd, R.A. Zucker, An Overview of Issues. G.M. Barnes, M.P. Farrell, S. Banerjee, Family Influences on Alcohol Abuse and Other Problem Behaviors Among Black and White Adolescents in a General Population Sample. P.L. Peterson, J.D. Hawkins, R.D. Abbott, R.F. Catalano, Disentangling the Effects of Parental Drinking, Family Management, and Parental Alcohol Norms on Current Drinking by Black and White Adolescents. B. Fischhoff, M.J. Quadrel, Adolescent Alcohol Decisions. G.T. Smith, M.S. Goldman, Alcohol Expectancy Theory and the Identification of High-Risk Adolescents. E. Maguin, R.A. Zucker, H.E. Fitzgerald, The Path to Alcohol Problems Through Conduct Problems: A Family-Based Approach to Very Early Intervention With Risk. T.E. Dielman, School-Based Research on the Prevention of Adolescent Alcohol Use and Misuse: Methodological Issues and Advances. G.A. Marlatt, J.S. Baer, M. Larimer, Preventing Alcohol Abuse in College Students: A Harm-Reduction Approach. L.A. Rohrbach, C.S. Hodgson, B.I. Broder, S.B. Montgomery, B.F. Flay, W.B. Hansen, M.A. Pentz, Parental Participation in Drug Abuse Prevention: Results from the Midwestern Prevention Project. A.C. Wagenaar, C.L. Perry, Community Strategies for the Reduction of Youth Drinking: Theory and Application. M. Grossman, F.J. Chaloupka, H. Saffer, A. Laixuthai, Effects of Alcohol Price Policy on Youth: A Summary of Economic Research.