A systematic narrative review of the effects of alcohol supply reduction policies on children and adolescents

Ryan Baldwin, Peter G. Miller, Kerri Coomber, Brittany Patafio, Debbie Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review


Background: Children are often exposed to increased rates of secondary harm such as physical harm, motor vehicle incidents, maltreatment, and neglect because of others’ or their own alcohol consumption. Alcohol supply reduction, or alcohol control policies, are often enacted to mitigate alcohol harms within the community. The current systematic narrative review aims to synthesise recent literature that examines how alcohol supply reduction policies impact the physical health, mental health, and offending behaviour of children and adolescents. Methods: Eight databases and grey literature sources were systematically searched, and results were synthesised by policy under evaluation. Twenty-one peer reviewed articles and ten grey literature articles were included after screening of 7,135 original articles. Included articles examined the alcohol control policies of the minimum legal drinking age, price control, and trading restrictions, with the most common outcomes under evaluation being related to the physical health or offending behaviour of adolescents. Results: Overall, the current review identified that the impact of alcohol policy on children and adolescents varied depending on the policy type, policy environment and assessed outcome. Common limitations within the literature include inability to control for covariates, use of alcohol related outcomes unsuitable to children and adolescents, and use of cross-sectional data and regression-discontinuity analysis in lieu of actual policy changes. Conclusions: The current review highlights the need to further evaluate the impact of actual alcohol-related policy changes on children and adolescents.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103581
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Drug Policy
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • Adolescents
  • Alcohol policy
  • Children
  • Harm outcomes
  • Review

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