Despite nationwide adoption of a 21-year-old minimum legal drinking age, alcohol remains readily available to youth, who procure it from a variety of retail and social sources. Although community-level restrictions on alcohol availability to youth are increasingly important as local intervention strategies, few studies have investigated the effects of changes in alcohol availability at the local level on consumption by young people. Moreover, the processes through which changes in alcohol availability affect drinking by young people lack empirical assessment. To address these issues we propose to undertake a randomized community trial to investigate the combined effectiveness of five interventions recommended as best practices to reduce commercial and social access to alcohol among youth: (a) a reward and reminder program for retail clerks and merchants, (b) increased enforcement of sales laws through compliance checks, (c) increased enforcement of laws against adults providing alcohol to minors through a stranger purchase (shoulder tap) intervention, (d) increased enforcement of laws against underage drinking and providing alcohol to minors through a party dispersal (party patrol) program, and (e) strategic media advocacy to increase public awareness of the problems associated with underage drinking and to increase public support for the interventions. In this proposed effectiveness trial, we will randomly assign 34 Oregon communities to intervention and control conditions (17 per condition). The environmental prevention strategies will be implemented in a staggered fashion over the five-year study period. Outcome measures will be based on annual student surveys of 8th and 11th graders and biannual alcohol purchase surveys conducted in all 34 communities. Three years of baseline student survey data have already been collected. The state of Oregon will pay for Community Coordinators and related intervention costs and will work in close collaboration with the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, and the Oregon Research Institute, to ensure implementation. The proposed study will test the combined effectiveness of the five interventions, will identify intervening mechanisms through which environmental interventions affect underage drinking, and will have important implications for the effective prevention of underage drinking.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Research Project (R01)
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Study Section
Community-Level Health Promotion Study Section (CLHP)
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Arroyo, Judith A
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Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation
United States
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Flewelling, Robert L; Grube, Joel W; Paschall, M J et al. (2013) Reducing youth access to alcohol: findings from a community-based randomized trial. Am J Community Psychol 51:264-77
Lipperman-Kreda, Sharon; Grube, Joel W; Paschall, Mallie J (2010) Community norms, enforcement of minimum legal drinking age laws, personal beliefs and underage drinking: an explanatory model. J Community Health 35:249-57
Lipperman-Kreda, Sharon; Grube, Joel W (2009) Students' perception of community disapproval, perceived enforcement of school antismoking policies, personal beliefs, and their cigarette smoking behaviors: results from a structural equation modeling analysis. Nicotine Tob Res 11:531-9
Biglan, Anthony; Hinds, Erika (2009) Evolving prosocial and sustainable neighborhoods and communities. Annu Rev Clin Psychol 5:169-96
Lipperman-Kreda, Sharon; Paschall, Mallie J; Grube, Joel W (2009) Perceived enforcement of school tobacco policy and adolescents' cigarette smoking. Prev Med 48:562-6
Paschall, Mallie J; Flewellng, Robert L; Grube, Joel W (2009) Using Statewide Youth Surveys to Evaluate Local Drug Use Policies and Interventions. Contemp Drug Probl 36:427-446
Lipperman-Kreda, Sharon; Paschall, Mallie J; Grube, Joel W (2009) Perceived local enforcement, personal beliefs,and underage drinking: an assessment of moderating and main effects. J Stud Alcohol Drugs 70:64-9
Duailibi, Sergio; Ponicki, William; Grube, Joel et al. (2007) The effect of restricting opening hours on alcohol-related violence. Am J Public Health 97:2276-80
Paschall, Mallie J; Grube, Joel W; Black, Carol et al. (2007) Alcohol outlet characteristics and alcohol sales to youth: results of alcohol purchase surveys in 45 Oregon communities. Prev Sci 8:153-9
Paschall, Mallie J; Grube, Joel W; Black, Carol et al. (2007) Is commercial alcohol availability related to adolescent alcohol sources and alcohol use? Findings from a multi-level study. J Adolesc Health 41:168-74

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