Objective: The objectives of this study were to (1) document and describe all outdoor alcohol advertisements surrounding schools and (2) examine the association between exposure to alcohol advertising in sixth grade and youth alcohol use, intentions, norms, and attitudes in eighth grade.
Method: All outdoor alcohol advertisements within 1,500 feet of 63 Chicago school sites were documented and coded for content and theme. Longitudinal mixed-effects regression analysis was used to determine the association between number of alcohol advertisements around a school in sixth grade and student alcohol behaviors, intentions, norms, and attitudes at the end of eighth grade, 2 years later. Participants included 2,586 sixth-grade students in the 2002-2003 school year. The sample was 37% black, 33% Hispanic, and 15% white. Gender was evenly distributed, and the average age was 12.2 at the end of sixth grade.
Results: A total of 931 alcohol advertisements were found within 1,500 feet of the 63 school sites. Exposure to alcohol advertising around schools at the end of sixth grade was found to predict alcohol intentions at the end of eighth grade. This finding held true even for those students who were nonusers of alcohol in sixth grade.
Conclusions: Exposure to outdoor alcohol advertising around schools is associated with subsequent youth intentions to use alcohol. The association between exposure to alcohol advertising and youth alcohol-use intentions was found even among sixth-grade nonusers of alcohol, suggesting that even those who have not used alcohol are still influenced by alcohol advertising. These findings suggest that restrictions in alcohol advertising near schools may be warranted.