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Young Children, Adolescents and Alcohol - Part I: Exploring Knowledge and Awareness of Alcohol and Related Issues

NCJ Number
Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse Volume: 7 Issue: 3 Dated: 1998 Pages: 1-29
S Houghton; A Carroll; P Odgers
Date Published
29 pages
This study explored views of young children and adolescents in Perth, Australia, pertaining to knowledge and awareness of alcohol and alcohol-related issues, social situations in which alcohol was present, orientation to alcohol risk, perceived and actual alcohol use, social image and reputation, and health beliefs related to alcohol.
Forty focus groups were conducted with 240 primary school students (118 males and 122 females), and 24 focus groups were conducted with 192 high school students (90 males and 102 females). Participant ages ranged from 5 years 3 months to 16 years 10 months. Videotaped discussions revealed about 75 percent of primary school students and almost all high school students had tried alcohol. Parents were primarily responsible for providing the alcohol. Virtually all students recognized and were able to correctly name a selection of alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages. Levels of knowledge and awareness of health and safety aspects of alcohol were mixed. The presentation of bottles and cans was reported as being important in attracting young persons to alcohol. Findings suggest an urgent need for research on the development of primary prevention and intervention educational materials for use with primary school students. 25 references