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Journal Article


Treno AJ, Ponicki WR, Remer LG, Gruenewald PJ. Alcohol Clin. Exp. Res. 2008; 32(8): 1372-1379.


Prevention Research Center, Berkeley, California, USA.


(Copyright © 2008, John Wiley and Sons)






Background: Despite recent research examining youth access to alcohol, the extent to which relative ease of access to alcohol from various sources translates into the use of these sources is not known. Methods: Patterns of adolescent alcohol access in California were studied using a hierarchical analysis of self-reported and archival measures. A survey of 30 youths age 14 to 16 in each of 50 zip codes selected to maximize variability in median household income and off-premise outlet densities was conducted. Results: (1) Both actual use of and perceived ease of access to formal sources were positively associated with off-premise outlet density (a measure of formal access). (2) Actual use of informal sources was negatively associated with outlet densities. (3) Perceived and realized informal access were associated positively with deviance and negatively with conventionality. (4) Deviance was associated with increased perceived and realized access from both formal and social sources, whereas conventionality was only associated with realized and perceived informal access. Conclusions: Correlates of perceived and actual alcohol access differ somewhat, and the differences between informal and formal access (both perceived and actual) are many, creating a complex picture of the patterns of underage access to alcohol. Youth drinking is affected by opportunities and constraints. Specifically, as one form of access becomes constrained, youth appear to circumvent restrictions by relying on other modes of access. Thus interventions targeting formal alcohol access by youth may result in a shift to reliance on social sources. This complex problem requires a multi-faceted intervention approach.

Language: en


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