Associations between alcohol outlet densities and adolescent alcohol consumption: a study in Australian students Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: To assess whether the density of alcohol sales outlets in specific geographic communities is associated with adolescent alcohol consumption. METHOD: A cross-sectional representative sample of secondary school students from Victoria, Australia (N=10,143), aged between 12 and 17 years, self-reported on alcohol use in the last 30 days in 2009. The density of alcohol outlets per local community area was merged with this information. RESULTS: After controlling for risk factors, multilevel modelling (MLM) revealed a statistical interaction between age and density on alcohol consumption. While older adolescents had higher alcohol consumption, increases in the density of alcohol outlets were only significantly associated with increased risk of alcohol consumption for adolescents between the ages of 12 and 14. CONCLUSION: Increased alcohol availability was associated with an increased risk of alcohol consumption specifically for early adolescents (12 and 14 years). Potential mechanisms as to how density is associated with direct and indirect alcohol availability, such as through parents or older siblings, need to be explored in future research.


  • Rowland, B
  • Toumbourou, JW
  • Satyen, L
  • Tooley, G
  • Hall, J
  • Livingston, M
  • Williams, J

publication date

  • 2014