Alcohol is the most commonly used drug by adolescents and its use is associated with significant negative short and long term health outcomes. There is good evidence that alcohol marketing is both reaching adolescents and influencing their drinking behaviors. However, little work has been done to assess the effect of alcohol marketing through the internet, despite that fact that marketers are increasingly turning to this new media platform. This goal of this career award is to gain the health prevention research skills and pilot data needed to successfully compete for an R01 to examine the impact of internet marketing on adolescent alcohol use. The career development component of this award will provide the researcher with expertise in internet alcohol marketing and the skills to assess how such exposures are associated with adolescent drinking behaviors. The mentored research component of this proposal complements the career development plan: in a pilot study, the scope and content of internet alcohol marketing will be assessed and survey and recruitment tools will be developed to examine associations between exposure to internet alcohol marketing, marketing receptivity and adolescent drinking. A cross-sectional regional study design will be employed. The initial phase of the study will include an internet content analysis, focus groups and the development of a cue-based web survey and pediatric clinic-based recruitment strategies. For the pilot study, 200 adolescents aged 12-17 years old will be identified and recruited from the Ambulatory Pediatric Clinical at Children's Hospital at Dartmouth. Participants will be directed to a web-based survey including a cue-based recall measure in which advertising exposure is assessed by asking teens to identify representative internet ad images. This study is innovative in its development and use of cue-based recall methods to assess alcohol marketing exposure and receptivity. This award will support innovative research to better understand the scope of internet alcohol marketing and its influence on adolescent drinking behavior. This research is essential in order to guide policy and interventions aimed at preventing harmful influences of alcohol marketing on youth and thier contribution to the development of problem drinking.
Alcohol is the most commonly used drug of adolescents and is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. This project explores how alcohol use in adolescents may be related to exposure to web-based alcohol marketing campaigns. This research has great public health importance, as alcohol advertising exposure could be reduced by media literacy programs, better parent internet control or policy initiatives.
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