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Research Pinpoints Cause Of Teenage Binge Drinking

4 January 2005

Research Pinpoints Cause Of Teenage Binge Drinking

"An important piece in the jig-saw of causes of teenage drinking" is how Dr Viola Palmer, Chairperson of the Group Against Liquor Advertising (GALA) describes the research from the University of Connecticut.

The researchers found a direct relationship between numbers of alcohol advertisements seen by teenagers and the amount drunk. They found a similar relationship between alcohol advertising expenditure and youth drinking.

Teenagers are susceptible to persuasion by carefully crafted advertisements. The ads make drinking look normal and fun. It follows that those who refrain from drinking seem abnormal and dull. And what teenager wants to look abnormal?

In 1994 researchers from the University of Auckland interviewing 10 to 17 year olds found that over half thought alcohol advertisements on television encouraged teenage drinking. "Now we have information on the amount of increase advertisements produce" said Dr Palmer.

There has been a doubling in the quantity drunk by teenagers since TV brand alcohol advertising began in 1992. Add to this all the other exposure to advertisements, and is it any wonder there is so much damage done?

"A responsible society would not allow young people to be manipulated in this way," said Dr Palmer.


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