PIRE Publication - Implementing a reward and reminder underage drinking prevention program in convenience stores near southern California American Indian reservations


Background: Underage drinking is associated with a number of social and public health consequences. Preventing access to alcohol is one approach to reducing underage drinking . Objectives: This study assesses the efficacy of a culturally tailored 'reward and reminder' program aimed at reducing convenience store alcohol sales to youth living on or near nine American Indian reservations. Methods: First, tribal council proclamations were sought to support underage drinking prevention, including reward and reminder efforts. Then, decoys (volunteers over 21 years of age but judged to look younger) attempted to purchase alcohol without identification. Clerks who asked for identification were given 'rewards' (gift cards and congratulatory letters), whereas clerks who did not were given 'reminders' of the law regarding sales to minors. Following an initial baseline of 12 purchase attempts, three repeated reward and reminder visits were made to 13 convenience stores selling alcohol within 10 miles of the reservations ( n = 51 total attempts). Results: Five of nine tribal councils passed resolutions in support of the program. The baseline sales rate without requesting ID was 33%. Similarly, 38% of stores in the first reward and reminder visit round failed to request identification. However, in the following two reward and reminder rounds, 0% of the stores failed to request identification. Conclusions: These results indicate that environmental community-level underage drinking prevention strategies to reduce alcohol sales near rural reservations are feasible and can be effective. Scientific Significance: Environmental prevention strategies within reservation communities support integrated supply and demand reduction models for reducing underage drinking.

Moore, R.S.
Roberts, J.
McGaffigan, R.
Calac, D.
Grube, J.W.
Gilder, D.A.
Ehlers, C.L.