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Parent and peer behavior: fueling adolescent binge drinking intentions?

Kathy Knox (Social Marketing at Griffith, Department of Marketing, Griffith Business School, Griffith University, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia)
Timo Dietrich (Social Marketing at Griffith, Department of Marketing, Griffith Business School, Griffith University, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia)
Sharyn Rundle-Thiele (Social Marketing at Griffith, Department of Marketing, Griffith Business School, Griffith University, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia)
Jason P. Connor (Social Marketing at Griffith, Department of Marketing, Griffith Business School, Griffith University, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Article publication date: 12 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

Social marketing has been applied to alcohol education, changing adolescents’ knowledge, attitudes and intentions toward binge drinking for the better. However, there remains limited research in the social marketing literature examining multi-stream models considering social-contextual factors and individual differences in the applied context of adolescent drinking.

Design/methodology/approach

A multi-group structural equation model approach was applied to analyze cross-sectional self-report data from 2,234 (mean age = 15.3 years, 48.7 per cent female) Australian adolescents. Based on the theory of planned behavior, the role of attitudes, subjective norms and perceived behavioral control in adolescents’ binge drinking intentions were examined. Potential moderating effects of peer and parent drinking behaviors and drinking status were tested.

Findings

The model explained 47.3 per cent variance in intentions for drinkers and 31.6 per cent for non-drinkers. Subjective norms were more strongly related to intentions than attitudes. Peer and parent behavior modified those associations, and drinking status further moderated interaction effects. Under conditions of favorable norms and attitudes, family and friends’ behavior fuels adolescents’ binge drinking intentions. Conversely, exposure to modeling of non-drinking peers and parents can bolster negative binge drinking beliefs.

Practical implications

Social marketing programs seeking to change adolescent drinking culture should include peers and parents whose drinking behavior modified associations between attitudes, norms and intentions to binge drink.

Originality/value

This study investigated how social-contextual factors (midstream) and drinking status influence relationships between adolescents’ attitudes, norms and perceived behavioral control (downstream factors) and their intentions to binge drink. These moderating effects have not previously been examined within the theory of planned behavior framework, and limited previous research has examined multi-stream models.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This article was funded by the Australian Research Council Linkage Program and Queensland Catholic Education Commission (LP130100345) and Griffith University. The funders played no role in study design, collection, analysis, interpretation of data, or in the decision to submit the paper for publication. They accept no responsibility for contents.

Citation

Knox, K., Dietrich, T., Rundle-Thiele, S. and Connor, J.P. (2019), "Parent and peer behavior: fueling adolescent binge drinking intentions?", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 36 No. 5, pp. 539-550. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCM-02-2018-2583

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited