Moderating teen drinking: combining social marketing and education

Sharyn Rundle‐Thiele (Department of Marketing and Population & Social Health Research Program, Griffith Health Institute, Griffith University, Nathan, Australia)
Rebekah Russell‐Bennett (School of Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)
Cheryl Leo (Department of Marketing, Griffith University, Nathan, Australia)
Timo Dietrich (Department of Marketing and Population & Social Health Research Program, Griffith Health Institute, Griffith University, Nathan, Australia)

Health Education

ISSN: 0965-4283

Publication date: 23 August 2013



This paper outlines a pilot study that was undertaken in Australia in 2011 that combined social marketing with education. An intervention targeting 14‐16 year olds to influence attitudes and behavioural intentions towards moderate drinking was developed and tested. Game On:Know alcohol (GO:KA) is a six‐module intervention that is delivered to a year level cohort in an auditorium. GO:KA combines a series of online and offline experiential activities to engage (with) students.


Following social marketing benchmark criteria, formative research and competitive analysis were undertaken to create, implement and evaluate an intervention. The intervention was delivered in one all boys’ and one all girls’ school in April and June 2011, respectively. A total of 223 Year 10 students participated in GO:KA with the majority completing both pre‐ and post‐surveys. Paired samples t‐tests and descriptive analysis were used to assess attitudinal and behavioural intention change.


Attitudinal change was observed in both schools while behavioural intentions changed for girls and not boys according to paired samples t‐testing. Post hoc testing indicated gender differences.

Research limitations

The lack of a control group is a key limitation of the current research that can be overcome in the 20 school main study to be conducted in 2013‐2015.


The current study provides evidence to suggest that a combined social marketing and education intervention can change teenage attitudes towards moderate drinking whilst only changing behavioural intentions for female teenagers. Analysis of the intervention provides insight into gender differences and highlights the need for a segmented approach.



Sharyn Rundle‐Thiele, Rebekah Russell‐Bennett, Cheryl Leo and Timo Dietrich (2013) "Moderating teen drinking: combining social marketing and education", Health Education, Vol. 113 No. 5, pp. 392-406

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