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CHaSR Lunchtime Research Seminar - November

That’s why they call it ‘social’ marketing: A whole-of-community approach to addressing underage drinking

While we hear a lot about the underage drinking problem in Australia, and there is clearly a need to address the levels of consumption and related harms, we hear surprisingly little about the positive trends in youth drinking. Recent data shows more Australian teenagers are choosing not to drink and the age of alcohol initiation is increasing. However, most young people (and their parents) perceive underage drinking as a normative behaviour and perceive that not drinking will result in being excluded from peer activities.

In recognition of the important role of parents in discouraging (or facilitating) alcohol consumption, several recent interventions have included components targeting both teenagers and their parents, individually and concurrently. However, the majority of these interventions have been predicated on the assumption that parents are opposed to their teenagers drinking (which the evidence suggests is not universally the case in Australia).

This project – implemented in Kiama, a small coastal town in NSW – aims to address misperceptions regarding alcohol consumption among adolescents and alter the current culture so it is perceived by underage youth as being “okay not to drink. This community-based social marketing intervention includes targeted messages and activities for young people, parents and the broader community.

This presentation will cover the findings from the baseline survey (what do teens, parents and community members think and believe about underage drinking) and formative research (what attitudes and norms underlie these beliefs; and what messages do, and do not, resonate with the three target groups). It will also provide an overview of the intervention components and report on the findings from the first 12 months of the intervention.


Thursday, November 26, 2015 – 12pm for a 12:30pm start


Level 4, Room 18, 115 Victoria Parade, Melbourne


Tuesday, November 24 – research.chasr@acu.edu.au

Lunch will be provided – please advise of any special dietary requirements when you RSVP.


Professor Sandra Jones

Professor Sandra Jones is an ARC Future Fellow and Director of the Centre for Health and Social Research (CHaSR) at the Australian Catholic University in Melbourne. Sandra’s research focuses on the relationship between media and health, including the impacts of advertising in the print and electronic media on health behaviour, and the use of social marketing to improve population health. Sandra’s career research funding exceeds $8 million; and she has published more than 150 refereed journal articles, six book chapters, and numerous policy-related monographs and reports.


Kelly Andrews

Kelly Andrews, Program Manager at CHaSR is a social marketing practitioner specialising in research interventions and community-based health promotion initiatives. Her specific research interests include community engagement and consumer empowerment. She has managed a variety of projects focusing on community attitudes and health behaviour change in areas such as chronic disease self-management, tobacco, alcohol marketing, breast cancer screening, organ donation, dementia and asthma.

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