The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report a continuing decline in alcoholic beverage consumption and alcohol abuse by high school students in the U.S. Over the past 12 years, the agency's the nation-wide surveys have found significant decreases in alcohol consumption among the nation's youth. The proportion of high school students who have ever had a drink dropped slightly over 5% between 1995 and 2007. Other measures of drinking have declined much more.
These statistics reflect dramatic improvement, but there are still too many high school students engaging in dangerous drinking behaviors. We can and must do more to prevent needless tragedies.
Students typically hold exaggerated beliefs about how many students really drink, how often they drink, and how much they drink. They tend to believe that "everyone's doing it" and feel pressure to conform to that undesirable behavior. When surveys of actual student behavior are conducted on campus and the actual, lower numbers are widely reported or marketed, people no longer feel the need to live up to some imagined false norm of behavior.
Research has repeatedly demonstrated that the technique, known as social norms marketing, is effective, that it is relatively inexpensive to implement, and that the positive results tend to occur quickly.
Filed Under: Underage Drinking Problems