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Predicting Adverse Consequences of Alcohol Consumption in Underage College Students Using a Novel Fake ID Purchase Task

Alcohol consumption is prevalent among college students and previous research shows that 45% of college-student population are underage with almost half of alcohol consumed being consumed by underage students. The purpose of this study was to evaluate underage student’s likelihood of purchasing a fake ID. The researchers also wanted to see if there was any relationship to alcohol demand and negative alcohol-related consequences.

The final study included 125 undergraduate students from the ages of 18-20 years. The study first asked participants about the number of alcoholic drinks they would purchase at 16 different prices. They were then asked about likelihood of purchasing a fake ID between prices of $0.00- $1,000.00. This question included the assumptions that this was the only way to buy a fake ID, they have no access to any other ID, they cannot sell or give away the ID, and they have the same income/savings that they currently have. Finally, they asked about outcomes of alcohol consumption during the previous 30 days.

The results showed that an alcoholic beverage priced at $3.61 provided a demand that is perfectly responsive to changes in price across the participants. The price of $64.29 provided a demand perfectly responsive to changes in price for fake ID purchase. These results show that demand for fake ID’s is in face price sensitive with students willing to pay a certain maximum amount. Overall the researchers found that higher demand for alcoholic drinks and a willingness to pay higher prices for a fake ID were associated with more adverse consequences of drinking alcohol. This study shows that fake ID’s on college campuses still prove to be a public health concern with the potential of resulting in more alcohol related negative consequences.

Take Away: The purpose of this study was to evaluate underage student’s likelihood of purchasing a fake ID along with relationships between alcohol demand and negative consequences. The study included 125 undergraduate students that were asked about willingness to pay certain prices for alcoholic beverages and fake ID’s. They were also asked about outcomes of alcohol consumption during the previous 30 days. Overall the researchers found that higher demand for alcoholic drinks and a willingness to pay higher prices for a fake ID were associated with more adverse consequences of drinking alcohol. This study shows that fake ID’s on college campuses still prove to be a public health concern with the potential of resulting in more alcohol related negative consequences.

Naudé, G. P., Foster, R. N. S., Bartley, M., Martinetti, M. P., Ayers, L. O., & Reed, D. D. (2019). Predicting adverse consequences of alcohol consumption in underage college students using a novel Fake ID Purchase Task. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology. doi: 10.1037/pha0000345

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