Why is adolescent drinking declining? A systematic review and narrative synthesis

Vashishtha, Rakhi, Livingston, Michael, Pennay, Amy, Dietze, Paul, MacLean, Sarah, Holmes, John, Herring, Rachel, Caluzzi, Gabriel and Lubman, Daniel I. (2019) Why is adolescent drinking declining? A systematic review and narrative synthesis. Addiction Research & Theory . ISSN 1606-6359 (Published online first) (doi:10.1080/16066359.2019.1663831)

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Abstract

Background: Adolescent drinking has declined across many developed countries from the turn of the century. The aim of this review is to explore existing evidence examining possible reasons for this decline.

Methods: We conducted systematic searches across five databases: Medline, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Informit Health and Scopus. Studies were included if association between declining alcohol consumption and potential explanatory factors were measured over time. Narrative synthesis was undertaken due to substantial methodological heterogeneity in these studies.

Results: 17 studies met the inclusion criteria. Five studies found moderate evidence for changes in parental practices as a potential cause for the decline. Five studies that examined whether alcohol policy changes influenced the decline found weak evidence of association. Three studies explored whether alcohol use has been substituted by illicit substances but no evidence was found. Two studies examined the effect of a weaker economy; both identified increase in adolescent alcohol use during times of economic crisis. One study indicated that changes in exposure to alcohol advertising were positively associated with the decline and another examined the role of immigration of non-drinking populations but found no evidence of association. One study tested participation in organised sports and party lifestyle as a potential cause but did not use robust analytical methods and therefore did not provide strong evidence of association for the decline.

Conclusions: The most robust and consistent evidence was identified for shifts in parental practices. Further research is required using robust analytical methods such as ARIMA modelling techniques and utilising cross-national data.

Item Type: Article
Keywords (uncontrolled): Drinking, review, decline, downward trend, adolescents
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education > Mental Health, Social Work and Interprofessional Learning
Item ID: 28139
Notes on copyright: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Addiction Research & Theory on 23/09/2019, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/16066359.2019.1663831.
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Depositing User: Rachel Herring
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2019 17:40
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2019 16:16
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/28139

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