Persuading Adolescent Males to Recognise the Negative Consequences of Alcohol Consumption: A Communications Challenge
Faculty of Business and Public Management
School of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure
This paper addresses the problem of communicating with male adolescents to prevent them engaging in excessive alcohol consumption. Alcohol abuse is a significant public health problem in Australia and elsewhere, particularly among adolescent males where average consumption rates are especially high. Pettigrew’s (2001) Pleasure Myth is discussed in terms of its implications for the design of communications aimed at reducing the negative outcomes of excessive alcohol consumption among adolescent males. It is argued that to be effective, communications need to target individual-, group-, and societal-level beliefs and to be conveyed via both the mass media and personalised messages. The emphasis should be on assuring adolescent males that high levels of consumption are neither necessary nor desirable amongst their peers and society in general. The findings have implications for other “products” that are associated with strong cultural beliefs.