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The debate regarding the minimum drinking age in the united states

The publisher's final edited version of this article is available at Addict Behav See other articles in PMC that cite the published article.

  1. The figure shows that most of the students who would like to see the MLDA lowered were frequent binge drinkers and that frequent binge drinkers are more likely than their lighter drinking peers to hold such an opinion.
  2. Abstract Despite support that the minimum legal drinking age MLDA of 21 is an important public health provision in the United States, a group of college presidents are petitioning for the MLDA to be lowered.
  3. The figure shows that most of the students who would like to see the MLDA lowered were frequent binge drinkers and that frequent binge drinkers are more likely than their lighter drinking peers to hold such an opinion. Students were asked if they thought about how drinking customs and laws in countries in Europe might differ from those in the United States, if they thought it unfair of the U.
  4. Figure 1 shows endorsement patterns of the MLDA opinion variables, stratified by whether individuals were frequent binge drinkers, infrequent binge drinkers, or had not binged in the past year1. Such a pattern of findings would suggest that lowering the MLDA would not necessarily reduce the problem of heavy drinking in underage college students but simply make it less legally risky and more convenient.
  5. We estimated whether these opinion variables correlated individually with four indices of heavy and risky drinking.

Abstract Despite support that the minimum legal drinking age MLDA of 21 is an important public health provision in the United States, a group of college presidents are petitioning for the MLDA to be lowered. To inform this debate, we examined whether heavy and risky drinking was associated with a stance to lower the MLDA in 865 college students under the age of 21.

We discuss how drinking and MLDA laws in Europe might compare with the United States, and how future policy work might benefit from empirical and cross-cultural study.

Minimum legal drinking age, reactance, policy 1. Introduction Although there has been a preponderance of evidence to support the minimum legal drinking age MLDA of 21 as an important public health provision in the United States American Medical Association, 2004a large number of college presidents are petitioning to rethink and possibly lower the MLDA to 18 years of age Amethyst Initiative, 2008.

  1. Thus, to inform the debate, we surveyed 865 underage college students for their opinions of the MLDA and the extent of their heavy and risky drinking. The publisher's final edited version of this article is available at Addict Behav See other articles in PMC that cite the published article.
  2. If, however, we see that heavy and risky drinkers typically promote a lower MLDA but other students do not or are less interested in change , then this would imply that heavy and risky drinkers are simply looking to drink legally and with less inconvenience. Thus, to inform the debate, we surveyed 865 underage college students for their opinions of the MLDA and the extent of their heavy and risky drinking.
  3. Introduction Although there has been a preponderance of evidence to support the minimum legal drinking age MLDA of 21 as an important public health provision in the United States American Medical Association, 2004 , a large number of college presidents are petitioning to rethink and possibly lower the MLDA to 18 years of age Amethyst Initiative, 2008. Figure 1 shows endorsement patterns of the MLDA opinion variables, stratified by whether individuals were frequent binge drinkers, infrequent binge drinkers, or had not binged in the past year1.
  4. Thus, to inform the debate, we surveyed 865 underage college students for their opinions of the MLDA and the extent of their heavy and risky drinking.

If the question of lowering the MLDA is a purely philosophical one in which underage students themselves feel that the current MLDA is too prohibitive and has the unfortunate unintended consequences of exacerbating problems, we would expect that the overwhelming majority of underage college students would oppose the current MLDA regardless of how they drink.

If, however, we see that heavy and risky drinkers typically promote a lower MLDA but other students do not or are less interested in changethen this would imply that heavy and risky drinkers are simply looking to drink legally and with less inconvenience.

Fact Sheets - Age 21 Minimum Legal Drinking Age

Such a pattern of findings would suggest that lowering the MLDA would not necessarily reduce the problem of heavy drinking in underage college students but simply make it less legally risky and more convenient. Thus, to inform the debate, we surveyed 865 underage college students for their opinions of the MLDA and the extent of their heavy and risky drinking.

Of note, the introductory psychology class has the highest enrollment rate of all classes for the university; consequently, the students in this class are quite representative of the university as a whole University Registrar, 2007.

All participants were under the age of 21 and averaged 18. The sample was 61. Students were asked if they thought about how drinking customs and laws in countries in Europe might differ from those in the United States, if they thought it unfair of the U.

A new minimum legal drinking age (MLDA)?: Some findings to inform the debate

We estimated whether these opinion variables correlated individually with four indices of heavy and risky drinking. The getting drunk variable assessed how often students got drunk on alcohol in the past 12 months, using the same scale as the binge drinking item.

Results Just as on other college campuses, heavy drinking rates were high in this underage sample. Figure 1 shows endorsement patterns of the MLDA opinion variables, stratified by whether individuals were frequent binge drinkers, infrequent binge drinkers, or had not binged in the past year1. A majority though not an overwhelming majority of students thought that a lower MLDA would result in lower drinking rates, getting drunk less often, and less drinking problems.

The figure shows that most of the students who would like to see the MLDA lowered were frequent binge drinkers and that frequent binge drinkers are more likely than their lighter drinking peers to hold such an opinion.