Underage Drinking,
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Underage Drinking,

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Underage Drinking,




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Presentation on theme: "Underage Drinking,"— Presentation transcript:

Slide1

Underage Drinking, Respect for the Law, and Fitting In:Were the Prophets of Prohibition Right?

Hope Dischar & Perilou Goddard

Department of Psychological Science

Northern Kentucky University

Slide2

Prohibition (1920-33) challenged our notion of ourselves as law-abiding citizensWidespread disregard for the laws of Prohibition were thought to undermine respect for all law

Slide3

More Prohibition falloutLaw breaking went from marginalized to mainstream behavior

Slide4

Parallels of Prohibition Today

Underage drinkingNearly 10 million underage drinkers in 2010 (SAMHSA, 2010) Marijuana useNearly 17.4 million past-month marijuana users in 2010 (SAMHSA, 2010)

Slide5

Hypotheses

Underage drinking and marijuana use would be associated with less respect for the lawgreater sense of “fitting in” with mainstream society

Slide6

Participants and Procedure

Participants

162 undergraduates

18 to 20

years

old

105 females, 57 males

10% were African-American, 3% were Hispanic, and 79% were White

Procedure

Participants completed all measures anonymously in 50-minute live sessions (not online)

Consent form, questionnaires assessing each of the relevant variables, and debriefing

Slide7

Measuring Alcohol and Marijuana Use

We created indices based on self-reported frequency of use

1: Have never used

2: Have not used in past year

3: Have used in past year but not in past month

4: Have used on fewer than 10 days in past month

5: Have used on 10 days or more in past month

Slide8

Measuring Respect for the Law

Respect for the Law Scale developed for this study to tap beliefs about the legitimacy of the law

16 statements rated on 7-point Likert scales

1 =

strongly disagree,

7 =

strongly agree

Representative items

Laws in the U.S. are best described as “of the people, by the people.”

We have the ability to change the laws we don’t agree with by voting for officials who will represent our views.

We are obligated to obey the laws because we help make the laws.

Moderate internal consistency (

α

= .84)

Slide9

Measuring the Sense of “Fitting In”

Scale developed by Cozzarelli & Karafa (1998) to measure the similarities between individuals’ personal beliefs/values and their perception of American beliefs/values

9 statements rated on 7-point Likert scales

1 =

strongly disagree,

7 =

strongly agree

Representative items

I strongly identify with American values.

I feel that many of my values are more or less universal.

Moderate internal consistency (

α

= .80)

Slide10

Alcohol UseNational vs. NKU Data

NSDUH data (2010) were calculated for persons aged 18 to 25NKU data included ONLY 18- to 20-year olds

Alcohol Lifetime Prevalence

Alcohol

12-month Prevalence

NSDUH

data

85.7%

78.7%

NKU

data

82.7%

77.2%

Slide11

Marijuana UseNational vs. NKU Data

It’s pretty clear that lots of NKU students like their cannabis!

Marijuana Lifetime Prevalence

Marijuana 12- month

Prevalence

NSDUH

data

51.1 %

29.8%

NKU

data

54.3%

43.2%

Slide12

Hypothesis 1: More frequent underage drinking and marijuana use will be associated with less respect for the law

Correlation with Respect for Law Scalep valueUnderage Drinking Index-.14.069Marijuana Use Index-.20.010

T

he hypothesis was partially supported:

Marijuana use was significantly associated with less respect for the law, but underage drinking was not (at least not quite).

Slide13

Hypothesis 2: More frequent underage drinking and marijuana use will be associated with a greater sense of “fitting in”

Correlation with “Fitting In” Scalep valueUnderage Drinking Index.31<.001Marijuana Use Index.06.429

Again, our hypothesis was partially supported:

More frequent underage drinking was significantly associated with greater feelings of “fitting in,” but marijuana use was not.

Slide14

Conclusions

T

he prophets of Prohibition were partially right

Students who regularly violated the prohibition against marijuana showed significantly less respect for the law

However, frequent underage drinkers did not

Perhaps drinking by underage college students is so normative that they don’t even think of it as breaking the law

Slide15

Our data about fitting in are consistent with this explanation

The more frequently underage students drank, the more they felt they fit in with mainstream America

Conclusions

Slide16

Implications

There is strong evidence that minimum legal drinking age laws have some benefits

e

.g., reduced motor vehicle deaths

However, these laws clearly do not serve as effective deterrents to drinking for many young people

Perhaps it’s time to think more creatively about policies to reduce drinking-related harms without focusing so much on the legality

of the

drinking age

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