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Research suggests that underage drinking is a serious problem in the United States, and that many of the factors that influence minors to consume alcohol are environmental in their nature. One such factor is youth-oriented alcohol advertisements. Although many adults support restrictions on such advertisements, others do not or do so to a lesser degree. In this study, we explored one factor that may influence how strongly adults support restrictions on youth-oriented alcohol advertisements: The frequency with which adults themselves report consuming alcoholic beverages. A total of 767 adult Idahoans completed a survey asking about a variety of perceptions related to underage drinking, including whether they supported five types of restrictions on youth-oriented alcohol advertisement. They also answered a question about their own drinking behavior. The results revealed a significant effect of adults’ self-reported alcohol consumption behavior on their support for all five types of advertising restrictions. Adults who reported not consuming alcohol were significantly more supportive of all five types of advertising restrictions than those who reported consuming at least one alcoholic beverage in an average week. Significant differences in adults’ levels of support for all five types of advertising restriction were also revealed as a function of frequency with which adults consumed alcoholic beverages. Adults who reported consuming alcohol on one day in an average week reported significantly more support for all five types of advertising restrictions than those who reported consuming alcohol four or more days in an average week. These findings identify a population—heavier drinking adults—for education about problems associated with underage drinking and advertising alcohol to minors.

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This document was originally published by Science Publishing Group in American Journal of Applied Psychology. Copyright restrictions may apply.