“Think twice” on underage alcohol supply

Posted 11 Jul 2024
Flinders University researcher Professor Jacqueline Bowden is suggesting that parents think twice before supplying alcohol to underage children and to be mindful of their own drinking patterns in front of their kids.

“Parents commonly believe that introducing their kids to alcohol in a ‘controlled’ way, such as a small glass of wine at Sunday lunch, will de-mystify alcohol and promote a responsible attitude towards drinking,” Professor Bowden says.

“Unfortunately, research shows that supplying alcohol to underage kids can lead to an earlier onset of risky drinking behaviours and have negative health consequences.”

Generous supporters of Flinders Foundation provided Professor Bowden with a Flinders Foundation Health Seed Grant in 2022 to examine the impact of public health mass media campaigns on adolescent drinking trends within Australia, including the impact on parental supply of alcohol and adolescent drinking.

Professor Bowden has now been successful in receiving more than $945,000 from the Medical Research Future Fund to work with parents and adolescents to develop ways in which to help inform them about the impact and dangers of supplying alcohol.

The research project will enlist the aid of parents and their teenagers to design and test communication materials, such as videos for social media, or television and online information, to support parents and discourage them from providing alcohol to their children.

“Our research aims to provide the ‘missing piece of the puzzle’ and determine whether public education campaigns can reduce parental alcohol supply and also reduce adolescent drinking rates,” Professor Bowden explains.

“Our findings will assist decision makers looking to reduce harms from alcohol, as reductions in adolescent drinking can have large and meaningful impacts on individual health and wellbeing throughout the lifespan, as well as the broader social good.

“Funding from Flinders Foundation has enabled our team to access to the best available data in Australia to answer our research questions with the best accuracy and precision possible.

“Without Seed Grant funding this project would not have been possible.”

Read more about Professor Bowden and her team’s latest research via Flinders University here.

Or listen to Professor Bowden speak about her work on the podcast, The Tuesday Morning Show with Alex Hyndman Hill below.

Professor Bowden speaking about her work on the podcast, The Tuesday Morning Show with Alex Hyndman

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