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Which parents provide zero-alcohol beverages to adolescents? A survey of Australian parents' practices and intentions.

Bartram A, Harrison NJ, Norris CA, Kim S, Pettigrew S, Room R, Miller C, Olver I, Jenkinson R, Bowshall M, Bowden JA.

  • Published 25 Dec 2023

  • Volume 179

  • Pagination 107840

  • DOI 10.1016/j.ypmed.2023.107840


Objective: Zero-alcohol beverages (<0.5% alcohol by volume) appear and taste similar to alcoholic beverages but are regulated similarly to soft drinks in many countries, blurring the distinction between alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. How parents view provision of zero-alcohol beverages to adolescents is likely a key determinant of adolescent consumption. We investigated factors associated with parents' provision of zero-alcohol beverages to adolescents, including attitudes toward zero-alcohol beverages and demographic, knowledge, and behavioural factors known to be associated with provision of alcoholic beverages.

Methods: We conducted an online cross-sectional survey of N = 1197 Australian parents of adolescents aged 12-17 years in April-May 2022. We examined associations with zero-alcohol beverage provision using binomial logistic regression, and with future provision intentions using multinomial logistic regression analyses.

Results: Factors significantly associated (p < .001) with parents' provision and future intentions to provide zero-alcohol beverages to their adolescent included beliefs that zero-alcohol beverages had benefits for adolescents (Adjusted Odds Ratio [AOR] 2.69 (provision); 3.72 (intentions)), provision of alcoholic beverages (AOR 2.67 (provision); 3.72 (intentions)), and an incorrect understanding of alcohol guidelines for adolescents (AOR 2.38 (provision); 1.95 (intentions)).

Conclusions: Parents' provision and intentions to provide zero-alcohol beverages were associated with beliefs about zero-alcohol beverages as well as some factors associated with provision of alcoholic beverages. Precautionary advice to parents that the provision of zero-alcohol beverages may serve to normalise alcohol consumption may be warranted.