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Alcohol advertising and alcohol consumption amongst youth, the influence of social norms and religion

Bouwmeester, Linda (2011) Alcohol advertising and alcohol consumption amongst youth, the influence of social norms and religion.

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Abstract:Objective: Consuming alcohol forms an important aspect for the young and old in many cultures despite the fact that it is the most harmful drug. To gain more knowledge on determinants that are of influence on alcohol consumption, this research attempts to create a theoretical European model based on determinants of which already has been proven that they have a direct effect on alcohol consumption but of which a possible mediating effect have not been established yet. It states that social norms and religion have a direct and indirect effect mediated by a direct effect on outcome expectancies on alcohol consumption. Furthermore, it is hypothesized that alcohol advertising has a direct and indirect effect, mediated by a direct effect on outcome expectancies, on alcohol consumption as well. Therefore, it is also hypothesized that social norms and religion are of influence on the indirect effect of alcohol advertising on alcohol consumption via outcome expectancies. Method: The data for this cross sectional research was collected in four different countries in Europe, namely Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland. The total number of respondents was 9060 of youth with an average age of 14.05. Using an online questionnaire that was similar for each country data on alcohol consumption, exposure to alcohol advertising, religion, perceived social norms on alcohol consumption and alcohol outcome expectancies were obtained. Results: Using structural equation modeling, the proposed model turned out to have a good fit with the data and is therefore a correct theoretical model. The results indicated that social norms were the strongest predictors of alcohol consumption amongst youth. Alcohol advertising and religion turned out to have a direct effect on social norms, therefore an indirect effect on alcohol consumption mediated by social norms as well. The expected direct effect of religion turned out to be non significant. Conclusion: The assumption that social norms and religion influence the indirect effect of alcohol advertising on alcohol consumption via outcome expectancies turned out to be true. Since social norms were the strongest predictors and alcohol advertising turned out to have a direct effect on social norms, a clear image is created on how much alcohol advertising influences the shaping of positive norms towards alcohol use and therefore influences alcohol consumption amongst youth. Religion turned out to have, unexpectedly, a non significant direct effect on consumption and a significant direct effect on social norms, therefore indirect on alcohol consumption. This implies that more research is needed on the relation of religion, alcohol consumption and possible mediating factors. Implications for interventions that are aimed at stopping and preventing the influence of alcohol advertising on social norms and therefore on alcohol consumption amongst youth are discussed.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/61279
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