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Consensus Study Report


Alcohol use by young people is extremely dangerous - both to themselves and society at large. Underage alcohol use is associated with traffic fatalities, violence, unsafe sex, suicide, educational failure, and other problem behaviors that diminish the prospects of future success, as well as health risks – and the earlier teens start drinking, the greater the danger. Despite these serious concerns, the media continues to make drinking look attractive to youth, and it remains possible and even easy for teenagers to get access to alcohol.

Why is this dangerous behavior so pervasive? What can be done to prevent it? What will work and who is responsible for making sure it happens? Reducing Underage Drinking addresses these questions and proposes a new way to combat underage alcohol use. It explores the ways in which may different individuals and groups contribute to the problem and how they can be enlisted to prevent it. Reducing Underage Drinking will serve as both a game plan and a call to arms for anyone with an investment in youth health and safety.


Suggested Citation

National Research Council and Institute of Medicine. 2004. Reducing Underage Drinking: A Collective Responsibility. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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Publication Info

760 pages |  6 x 9 | 

  • Hardcover:  978-0-309-08935-7
  • Ebook:  978-0-309-18548-6
Chapters skim
Front Matter i-xviii
Executive Summary 1-12
1. Introduction: The Challenge 13-32
I. Underage Drinking in the United States - 2. Characteristics of Underage Drinking 33-57
3. Consquences of Underage Drinking 58-69
4. Understanding Youth Drinking 70-86
II. The Strategy - 5. Designing the Strategy 87-107
6. National Media Campaign 108-124
7. Alcohol Industry 125-144
8. Entertainment Industries 145-157
9. Access 158-184
10. Youth-Oriented Interventions 185-215
11. Communities 216-231
12. Federal and State Governments 232-249
References 250-282
Appendix A: Statement of Task 283-283
Appendix B: Agenda and Participants, October 10-11, 2002, Public Workshop 284-288
Appendix C: Agenda and Participants, November 18, 2002, Open Committee Meeting and Public Forum 289-291
Appendix D: Other Public Contributors 292-295
Appendix E: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members and Staff 296-302
Index 303-318
1 The Epidemiology of Underage Drinking in the United States: An Overview--Robert L. Flewelling, Mallie J. Paschall, and Christopher Ringwalt 319-350
2 Social, Health, and Economic Consequences of Underage Drinking--Ralph Hingson and Donald Kenkel 351-382
3 Health Consequences of Adolescent Alcohol Involvement--Sandra A. Brown and Susan F. Tapert 383-401
4 Developmental and Environmental Influences on Underage Drinking: A General Overview--Bonnie L. Halpern-Felsher and Michael Biehl 402-416
5 Perceptions of Risk and Social Judgments: Biases and Motivational Factors--Janis E. Jacobs 417-436
6 Alcohol Use and Misuse: Prevention Strategies with Minors--William Hansen and Linda Dusenbury 437-457
7 Supply Side Approaches to Reducing Underage Drinking: An Assessment of the Scientific Evidence--Harold D. Holder 458-489
8 Effectiveness of Sanctions and Law Enforcement Practices Targeted at Underage Drinking Not Involving Operation of a Motor Vehicle--Thomas L. Hafemeister and Shelly L. Jackson 490-540
9 The Effects of Price on Alcohol Use, Abuse, and Their Consequences--Frank J. Chaloupka 541-564
10 Media Intervention Impact: Evidence and Promising Strategies--Charles Atkin 565-596
11 Alcohol in the Media: Drinking Portrayals, Alcohol Advertising, and Alcohol Consumption Among Youth--Joel W. Grube 597-624
12 Alcohol Advertising and Promotion--David Jernigan and James O’Hara 625-653
13 Drinking and Coming of Age in a Cross-Cultural Perspective--Robin Room 654-677
14 Preventing Underage Drinking in American Indian and Alaska Native Communities: Contexts, Epidemiology, and Culture--Douglas K. Novins, Paul Spicer, Janette Beals, and Spero M. Manson 678-696
15 Teen Treatment: Addressing Alcohol Problems Among Adolescents--Rosalind Brannigan, Mathea Falco, Linda Dusenbury, and William B. Hansen 697-715
16 Youth Smoking Prevention Policy: Lessons Learned and Continuing Challenges--Paula M. Lantz 716-742

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Podcast:  Reducing Underage Drinking: A Collective Responsibility
Reducing Underage Drinking: A Collective Responsibility

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