EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL ADVERTISING ON UNDERAGE DRINKING

Release Date:  February 2, 1998

RFA:  AA-98-002

P.T.

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  March 31, 1998
Application Receipt Date:  May 7, 1998

PURPOSE

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), in
conjunction with the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP),
seeks grant applications to conduct longitudinal research that will
determine whether alcohol advertising affects initiation and
continued consumption of alcohol by youth.  Such studies should
include examination of the short- and longer-term relationships
among exposure to alcohol advertising, alcohol expectancies and
other mediating variables (e.g., personality and family norms), and
actual consumption of alcohol among youth.  Although there is
widespread belief that alcohol advertising contributes to the
initiation and continuation of alcohol consumption, research
documenting the nature and extent of this association is limited. 
Of particular concern are existing gaps in knowledge regarding the
role of mediating and moderating variables (such as expectancy
formation) on the possible associations between alcohol advertising
exposure and alcohol consumption, and the relative magnitude of the
advertising effect on actual drinking behavior.

Considered collectively, the completed research from two general
lines of inquiry suggests that alcohol advertising affects drinking
behavior of youth and that this effect is mediated in part by
alcohol expectancies (i.e., one's personal beliefs about the
immediate benefits and hazards of alcohol consumption for oneself). 
There is evidence from some studies that alcohol expectancies are
related to current and future alcohol use and, from other studies,
evidence that awareness of alcohol advertising is related to
alcohol expectancies and intentions to drink.  However, there have
been no published comprehensive studies within a single population
that explore causal relationships among advertising, alcohol use by
youth, expectancies, and other potential mediators and moderators. 
Moreover, the existing studies have used a variety of research
designs, study populations (e.g., age groups), variable and
construct sets, measurement approaches, and analytic techniques,
making it difficult to integrate the findings and to draw
meaningful conclusions about advertising effects.

Cross-sectional studies and longitudinal studies with short follow
up intervals are not adequate for the task at hand.  Therefore, the
NIAAA invites research applications that propose to use
longitudinal designs with long-term follow up to examine the
relationship between exposure to alcohol advertising and alcohol
consumption among youth.  Applications should include as a design
element the examination of alcohol expectancies; however,
investigators are also encouraged to include additional explanatory
variables as their theoretical models dictate.   The intent of this
RFA is to stimulate comprehensive but focused research that takes
into account as many threats to external and internal validity as
possible given the resources available.

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2000

The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the
health promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy
People 2000," a PHS-led activity for setting priority areas.  This
Request for Applications is related to the priority area of alcohol
abuse reduction and alcoholism prevention.  Potential applicants
may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2000" (Full Report:  Stock No.
170-011-00474-0 or Summary Report:  Stock No. 017-001-00473-1)
through the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing
Office, Washington, DC 20402-9325 (telephone 202-512-1800).

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Applications may be submitted by domestic and foreign, for-profit
and non-profit organizations, public and private, such as
universities, colleges, hospitals, laboratories, units of State and
local governments, and eligible agencies of the Federal government. 
Racial/ethnic minority individuals, women, and persons with
disabilities are encouraged to apply as Principal Investigators.

MECHANISMS OF SUPPORT

Research support may be obtained through applications for a
research project grant (R01).  Program project grant applications
(P01) will not be accepted for this RFA.  Investigators who wish to
submit a new application that requests $500,000 or more for direct
costs in any year must obtain written approval from the NIAAA prior
to submitting the application.  Applicants also may submit
Investigator-Initiated Interactive Research Project Grants (IRPG)
under this RFA.  Interactive Research Project Grants require the
coordinated submission of related regular research project grant
applications (R01s) from investigators who wish to collaborate on
research but do not require extensive shared physical resources. 
These applications must share a common theme and describe the
objectives and scientific importance of the interchange of, for
example, ideas, data, and materials among the collaborating
investigators.  A minimum of two independent investigators with
related research objectives may submit concurrent, collaborative,
cross-referenced individual R01 applications.  Applications may be
from one or several institutions.  Further information on the IRPG
mechanism is available in program announcement PA-96-001, NIH Guide
for Grants and Contracts, Vol. 24, No. 35, October 6, 1995, and
from the NIAAA program staff listed under INQUIRIES.

FUNDS AVAILABLE

Up to $2 million in total costs will be available for the first
year of awards under this RFA. It is anticipated that one to four
awards will be made under this RFA in FY 1998.  This level of
support is dependent on receipt of  applications of high scientific
merit.  The usual policies governing grants administration and
management, including facilities and administrative costs, will
apply.  Funding beyond the first and subsequent years of the grant
will be contingent upon satisfactory progress during the preceding
years and availability of funds.  The earliest possible award date
is September 30, 1998.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Research on the effects of alcohol advertising on adolescent
alcohol-related beliefs and behaviors has been limited (Atkin
1995), and the findings have not been consistent (Martin 1995). 
While earlier studies measured the effects of exposure to
advertising (Atkin, Hocking, and Block 1984), more recent research
has assessed the effects of actual awareness of advertising.  For
example, one study of fifth- and sixth-grade students' awareness,
measured by the ability to identify various beers in television
commercials with the product name blocked out, found that awareness
had a small, but statistically significant, relationship to
positive expectancies about alcohol and to intention to drink as
adults.  This suggests that alcohol advertising may influence
adolescents to be more favorably predisposed to drinking (Grube and
Wallack 1994), and that the effect of advertising on youth alcohol
consumption is through its impact on their alcohol expectancies
which are known to be related to subsequent drinking behavior. That
is, advertising  may have a cumulative effect on the perceptions
youth have about the likely benefits that will accrue from drinking
alcohol.

Alcohol expectancies (i.e., beliefs about alcohol effects) may be
positive or negative, and may include beliefs about the social
impacts of drinking as well as its effects on mood and behavior.
Youth develop alcohol expectancies prior to ever having direct
experience with alcohol, and these beliefs/cognitions about how
alcohol will actually affect them are strong predictors of future
alcohol consumption, as well as intentions about later use of
alcohol  (Christiansen and Goldman 1983; Miller, Smith, and Goldman
1990; Smith and Goldman 1995).  Changes in alcohol expectancies,
both positive and negative, have been associated with corresponding
changes in drinking behavior.  The origins of beliefs about alcohol
effects have not been precisely identified, and alcohol advertising
may contribute to expectancy formation.  Thus, research is needed
to address the relationships among exposure to and awareness of
alcohol advertising, advertising content, the formation and nature
of alcohol expectancies, intentions to drink, and actual drinking
behavior.  Of particular interest are the following questions:

How does alcohol advertising affect drinking by underage youth, if
at all?

What, if any, characteristics of underage drinking are affected by
advertising (e.g., age of initiation, frequency, quantity, setting,
etc.)?

What social and psychological processes or mechanisms underlie
these effects (e.g., extensive exposure, repetition of ads,
discussion of advertisements among peers, etc.) ?

What variables appear to mediate or moderate these effects (e.g.,
alcohol expectancies, family history, peer influence)?

What, if any, differential advertising effects occur among young
people according to individual and group characteristics, including
age, gender, ethnicity, drinking status, and the presence of
particular risk factors for alcohol abuse?

What specific alcohol expectancies are most susceptible to
influence from advertising (e.g., social outcomes; physical
prowess; sexual attractiveness, etc.)?

Alcohol expectancies form as early as age five, and initiation of
drinking usually does not occur until early adolescence. 
Therefore, longitudinal research is needed to relate expectancy
content and changes to ongoing exposure to advertising, document
the initiation and continued use of alcohol, and examine
relationships among advertising, expectancies, and direct
experience with alcohol.  Such longitudinal studies pose a number
of challenges that applicants must address, including issues
related to the appropriate age groups to study, the appropriate
sampling plan, recruitment and retention of subjects, selection of
an appropriate study design and analysis plan, selection of age-
appropriate measures that are sensitive to change, and assuring
confidence in the study's internal and external validity in real-
world settings (i.e., where the investigator does not control the
stimulus).

Researchers should employ standard measures that differentiate
among youth regarding drinking initiation and drinking patterns
(e.g., quantity/frequency, drinking problems or consequences). 
These measures should be sufficiently sensitive to define and
detect the age of initiation as precisely as possible.  Applicants
may for pragmatic or theoretical reasons focus on the effects of a
given media form (e.g., TV) without regard to the others.

1. Age and other characteristics of sample cohorts

Because relationships between alcohol advertising, alcohol
expectancies, and drinking behavior  depend on developmental level,
careful attention must be paid to advertising effects on different
age groups. To use resources most efficiently, multiple-cohort
designs are encouraged in which several groups of different ages
are followed for at least 3 years.  Researchers may consider using
an overlapping cohorts design.  In selecting the ages at which to
begin and to terminate sampling youth, the investigators should be
guided by theoretical as well as pragmatic considerations (e.g.,
how best to use the available financial resources).   However, they
must include an appropriate baseline phase prior to initiation of
drinking as well as periods in which a substantial proportion of
the sample are engaged in regularized or patterned drinking.  The
age intervals for study should be chosen in terms of potential
advertising effects, drinking patterns, exposure to mass media,
age-linked developmental processes, and, of course, the theoretical
model that drives the study.

In sampling youth, it is important for researchers to consider that
the primary findings should be generalizable to a cross-section of
U.S. youth.  Nevertheless, to address the possibility that the
unique effect of advertising may be small and/or limited to certain
sub-groups, researchers might oversample groups that may be more
vulnerable to advertising effects such as children of alcoholics,
youth with weak attachments to families and school, and those with
above average media consumption patterns.

2. Modeling mediating and moderating factors

Many factors undoubtedly contribute to exposure to and awareness of
advertising, including dispositional and personality
characteristics (e.g., sensation-seeking), family practices, and
the peer and cultural environment. These variables may also mediate
the relationships between advertising exposure/awareness,
expectancies, and drinking behavior.  Therefore, researchers should
account for these other factors when seeking to model the unique
and/or interactive contribution of alcohol advertising and  alcohol
expectancies on alcohol consumption among youth.  For example,
questions of temporal ordering, causal direction, and intervening
variables  must be addressed in examining the relationships among
awareness of advertising, sensitivity to its contents, positive
alcohol expectancies, positive intentions about future drinking,
and experience with alcohol.

3. Possible sub-studies

Although all applications must include a longitudinal design to
address the central question of the RFA, many related issues might
also be addressed within the context of the longitudinal study. 
For example, researchers may include additional research components
such as in-depth interviews or focus groups to determine whether
and how advertisements affect youth, or laboratory studies to
explore the impact of stylistic factors in alcohol advertisements
on youth of different ages.  These might consider the effects of
targeting advertisements to specific audience segments (e.g.,
particular gender-, ethnic- and region-based audiences); the
effectiveness of various types of persuasive appeals and
presentation styles; and the role of particular media consumption
patterns (e.g., amount of exposure to TV, radio, videos,
billboards, and magazines) in shaping expectancies and actual
behavior.

Given the complex nature of the specific research problem,
collaborative efforts are strongly encouraged.  For example,
experts in communications and advertising may wish to collaborate
with experts in expectancies or alcohol behavior research to
maximize the competence of the study team investigating different
aspects of the common topic.

INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN
SUBJECTS

It is the policy of the NIH that women and members of minority
groups and their subpopulations must be included in all NIH
supported biomedical and behavioral research projects involving
human subjects, unless a clear and compelling rationale and
justification is provided that inclusion is inappropriate with
respect to the health of the subjects or the purpose of the
research.  This new policy results from the NIH Revitalization Act
of 1993 (Section 492B of Public Law 103-43).

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects
should read the "NIH Guidelines For Inclusion of Women and
Minorities as Subjects in Clinical Research," which have been
published in the Federal Register of March 28, 1994 (FR 59 14508-
14513) and in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, Volume 23,
Number 11, March 18, 1994.

Investigators also may obtain copies of the policy from the program
staff listed under INQUIRIES.  Program staff may also provide
additional relevant information concerning the policy.

LETTER OF INTENT

Prospective applicants are asked to submit, by March 31, 1998, a
letter of intent that includes a descriptive title of the proposed
research, the name, address, and telephone number of the Principal
Investigator, the identities of other key personnel and
participating institutions, and the number and title of the RFA in
response to which the application may be submitted.

Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and
does not enter into the review of a subsequent application, the
information that it contains allows NIAAA staff to estimate the
potential review workload and to avoid conflict of interest in the
review.

The letter of intent is to be sent to:

RFA AA-98-002
Office of Scientific Affairs
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
6000 Executive Boulevard, Room 409, MSC 7003
Bethesda, MD  20892-7003
Telephone:  (301) 443-4375
FAX:  (301) 443-6077

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

The research grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 5/95) is to be
used in applying for these grants.  These forms are available at
most institutional offices of sponsored research and from the
Division of Extramural Outreach and Information, National
Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7910, Bethesda, MD
20892-7910, telephone 301/435-0714, Email: asknih@od.nih.gov.

The RFA label available in the PHS 398 (rev. 5/95) application form
must be affixed to the bottom of the face page of the application. 
Failure to use this label could result in delayed processing of the
application such that it may not reach the review committee in time
for review.  In addition, the RFA title and number must be typed on
line 2 of the face page of the application form and the YES box
must be marked. Page limits and limits on size of type are strictly
enforced.  Non-conforming applications will be returned without
being reviewed.

Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application, including
the checklist and three signed photo copies in one package to:

CENTER FOR SCIENTIFIC REVIEW
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
6701 ROCKLEDGE DRIVE, ROOM 1040 - MSC 7710
BETHESDA, MD  20892-7710
BETHESDA, MD  20817 (for express/courier service)

At the time of submission, two additional copies of the application
must also be sent to:

RFA AA-98-002
Office of Scientific Affairs
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
6000 Executive Boulevard, Room 409, MSC 7003
Bethesda, MD  20892-7003
Rockville, MD  20852 (for express/courier service)

Applications must be received by May 7, 1998.  If an application is
received after that date, it will be returned to the applicant
without review. 

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the
Center for Scientific Review (CSR) and for responsiveness by the
NIAAA.  Incomplete applications will be returned to the applicant
without further consideration.  If the application is not
responsive to the RFA, CSR staff may contact the applicant to
determine whether to return the application to the applicant or
submit it for review in competition with unsolicited applications
at the next review cycle.

Applications that are complete and responsive to the RFA will be
evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer
review group convened by the NIAAA in accordance with the review
criteria stated below.  As part of the initial merit review, a
streamlined review process may be used by the initial review group
in which applications may or may not be discussed based on their
scientific merit relative to other applications received in
response to the RFA.  Applications which are fully discussed will
be assigned a priority score.  Applications which are not discussed
will be withdrawn from further consideration and the Principal
Investigator and the official signing for the applicant
organization will be notified.  The second level of review will be
provided by the National Advisory Council on Alcohol Abuse and
Alcoholism.

Review Criteria

The goals of NIH-supported research are to advance our
understanding of biological systems, improve the control of
disease, and enhance health.  In the written review, comments on
the following aspects of the application will be made in order to
judge the likelihood that the proposed research will have a
substantial impact on the pursuit of these goals.  Each of these
criteria will be addressed and considered in the assignment of the
overall score.

Significance:  Does the study address the goals of the RFA?  If the
aims of the study are achieved, how will scientific knowledge be
advanced?  Will the study advance the concepts or methods that
drive this field?

Approach:  Are the conceptual framework, design, methods, and
analyses adequately developed, well-integrated, and appropriate to
the aims of the project?  Does the applicant acknowledge potential
problem areas and consider alternative designs?

Feasibility:  Can the design be implemented (including recruitment
of subjects, cooperation of relevant organizations, and/or
collection of necessary data)?

Innovation:  Does the project employ novel concepts, approaches,
theories, or methods?

Investigator:  Are the principal investigator and key research
personnel appropriately trained and well suited to carry out this
work?

Environment:  Does the scientific environment in which the work
will be done contribute to the probability of success?  Does the
proposed research take advantage of the unique features of the
scientific environment or employ useful collaborative arrangements? 
Is there evidence of institutional support?

Budget: Is the requested budget and estimation of time to
completion of the study appropriate for the proposed research?

In addition, plans for the recruitment and retention of subjects
will be evaluated as well the adequacy of plans to include both
genders and minorities and their subgroups as appropriate for the
scientific goals of the research.

The initial review group will also examine the provisions for the
protection of human subjects and the safety of the research
environment.

AWARD CRITERIA

Applications recommended for approval by the National Advisory
Council on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism will be considered for
funding on the basis of the overall scientific and technical merit
of the proposal as determined by peer review, NIAAA programmatic
needs and balance, and the availability of funds.

INQUIRIES

Inquiries concerning this RFA are encouraged.  The opportunity to
clarify any issues or questions from potential applicants is
welcome.

Direct inquiries regarding applications under this RFA to:

Susan E. Martin Ph.D.
Division of Clinical and Prevention Research
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
6000 Executive Boulevard MSC 7003
Bethesda, MD  20892-7003
Telephone:  (301) 443-8767
FAX:  (301) 443-8774
Email:  smartin@willco.niaaa.nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Linda Hilley
Grants Management Branch
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
6000 Executive Boulevard MSC 7003
Bethesda, MD  20892-7003
Telephone:  (301) 443-0915
FAX:  (301) 443-3891
Email:  lhilley@willco.niaaa.nih.gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic
Assistance, No. 93.273.  Awards are made under the authorization of
the Public Health Service Act, Sections 301 and 464H, and
administered under the PHS policies and Federal Regulations at
Title 42 CFR Part 52 and 45 CFR Part 74.  This program is not
subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive
Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency Review.

The PHS strongly encourages all grant recipients to provide a
smoke-free workplace and promote the non-use of all tobacco
products. In addition, Public Law 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of
1994, prohibits smoking in certain facilities (or in some cases,
any portion of a facility) in which regular or routine education,
library, day care, health care or early childhood development
services are provided to children. This is consistent with the PHS
mission to protect and advance the physical and mental health of
the American people.

References

Atkin, CK: Survey and experimental research on effects of alcohol
advertising.  In: Martin, SE and Mail P., eds. The effects of the
Mass Media on the Use and Abuse of Alcohol NIAAA Research Monograph
No. 28.  NIH Pub. No. 95-3743.  Bethesda, MD: NIAAA, 1995, pp.39-
68.

Atkin, CK; Hocking, J; and Block, M.  Teenage drinking: Does
advertising make a difference? Journal of Communication 34:157-167,
1984.

Christiansen, BA; and Goldman, MS. Alcohol-related expectancies
versus demographic/background variables in the prediction of
adolescent drinking.  Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
51:249-257, 1983.

Grube, JG and Wallack, L. Television beer advertising and drinking
knowledge, beliefs, and intentions among schoolchildren.  American
Journal of Public Health 84(2):254-259, 1994.

Martin, SE.  Alcohol and the mass media: Issues, approaches and
research directions.  In: Martin, SE and Mail P., eds. The effects
of the Mass Media on the Use and Abuse of Alcohol NIAAA Research
Monograph No. 28.  NIH Pub. No. 95-3743.  Bethesda, MD: NIAAA,
1995, pp.277-295.

Miller, PM; Smith, GT; and Goldman, MS.  Emergence of alcohol
expectancies in childhood: A possible critical period.  Journal of
Studies on Alcohol 51:343-349, 1990.

Smith, GT; and Goldman, MS.  Alcohol expectancy theory and the
identification of high risk adolescents.  In: Boyd, GM;. Howard, J.
and Zucker, RA., eds.  Adolescents: Current Directions in
Prevention Research. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates,
1995, pp. 85-104.


Return to Volume Index

Return to NIH Guide Main Index


Office of Extramural Research (OER) - Home Page Office of Extramural
Research (OER)
  National Institutes of Health (NIH) - Home Page National Institutes of Health (NIH)
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
  Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - Home Page Department of Health
and Human Services (HHS)
  USA.gov - Government Made Easy


Note: For help accessing PDF, RTF, MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Audio or Video files, see Help Downloading Files.