Stephen is one of a group of professionals around the country asked to participate in a project being conducted by researchers at George Mason University. The professionals were chosen based on their expertise with teen drinking issues or who have particular insight about youth and teen cultures. The “Understanding Teen Drinking Cultures in America” research project is designed to gain a greater understanding of teen drinking. Using a scientifically-grounded approach, this project will gain an understanding of the culture surrounding teens’ use of alcohol. This project’s ultimate focus is upon WHO and/or WHAT might influence future youth decisions to decline alcohol. The research foundation and design represent an innovative strategy for understanding this issue. Blending both cultural anthropology and public health approaches, the research design incorporates multiple methodologies.The target population is adolescents under age 18, incorporating primarily youth of high school and late middle school age. The aim is to gain a better understanding of cultural influences and messages in a complex environment, with a focus upon the U.S. culture.
Funded by a grant from The Century Council, this independent research is guided by project co-directors, research staff, and a distinguished Advisory Panel. The research will provide periodic reports and papers, and will generate foundations for strategic approaches for affecting youth decisions in the future.