Heavy Drinking and Problem Drinking Among Youth in Uganda: A Structural Equation Model of Alcohol Marketing, Advertisement Perceptions, and Social Norms
To determine the role of alcohol marketing, perceptions of marketing and social norms on heavy alcohol use and problem alcohol use among vulnerable youth in Uganda.
The Kampala Youth Survey is a cross-sectional study conducted in 2014 with service-seeking youth (ages 12–18 years) living in the slums of Kampala (n = 1134) who were participating in Uganda Youth Development Link drop-in centers. Survey measures assessed perceptions of alcohol advertisements, social norms regarding alcohol use, heavy alcohol use, and problem alcohol use. Factor analyses and structural equation models were computed to determine the predictors (e.g. social norms and alcohol marketing exposure) for alcohol use amounts, heavy alcohol use and problem alcohol use.
Alcohol marketing allure, perceptions of adults’ alcohol attitudes and respondent’s male gender were significantly predictive of heavy alcohol use. Similarly, in addition to alcohol use amount and heaviness, only alcohol marketing exposure and friends’ alcohol attitudes, as well as respondent’s own attitudes about alcohol, significantly predicted variation in problem alcohol use.
Discussion and Conclusions
Alcohol marketing exposure and allure are significant predictors of heavy alcohol use and problem alcohol use among youth in Uganda. Prevention programs that reduce exposure to and allure of alcohol marketing may prove promising for reducing alcohol use and related problems among these vulnerable youth in a low-resource setting.