This paper provides research methodology and outcomes information regarding a randomized trial of a community-organizing intervention program, designed to decrease the accessibility of alcoholic beverages to under-age youth.
The authors report on Communities Mobilizing for Change on Alcohol (CMCA), a randomized 15-community trial of a community organizing intervention designed to reduce the accessibility of alcoholic beverages to youths under the legal drinking age. The authors collected data at baseline before random assignment of communities to intervention or control condition, and again at follow-up after a 2.5-year intervention. Data collection included in-school surveys of twelfth graders, telephone surveys of 18- to 20-year-olds and alcohol merchants, and direct testing of the propensity of alcohol outlets to sell to young buyers. Analyses were based on mixed-model regression, used the community as the unit of assignment, took into account the nesting of individual respondents or alcohol outlets within each community, and controlled for relevant covariates. Results show that the CMCA intervention significantly and favorably affected both the behavior of 18- to 20-year-olds and the practices of on-sale alcohol establishments, may have favorably affected the practices of off-sale alcohol establishments, but had little effect on younger adolescents. Alcohol merchants appear to have increased age-identification checking and reduced propensity to sell to minors. Eighteen- to 20-year-olds reduced their propensity to provide alcohol to other teens and were less likely to try to buy alcohol, drink in a bar or consume alcohol. The authors conclude that community organizing is a useful intervention approach for mobilizing communities for institutional and policy change to improve the health of the population. Publisher Abstract Provided
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