Date of Award

Summer 8-9-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Monica Swahn

Second Advisor

Dr. Laura Salazar


INTRODUCTION: Twenty four percent girls and 37.8% boys age 15-19 years were current drinkers of alcohol in Uganda in 2010 (World health organization (WHO), n.d.). Marketing of alcohol to youth in African countries, particularly Uganda, is very aggressive (DeBruijn, 2011). Consequences of this are reflected in the high consumption rates among this population. Given the high rates of HIV (4-10%), the sex risk behaviors exhibited by this population have been linked to alcohol consumption (Swahn, Ali, Palmier, Sikazwe, & Mayeya, 2011). More evidence is needed.

AIM: To demonstrate the effect of alcohol marketing exposure on alcohol consumption by adolescents in the slums of Kampala, Uganda, and the consequent effect on the number of sex partners they have.

METHODS: A mHealth survey was conducted among 12-18 year olds in the slums of Kampala, Uganda, in 2014. Regression analysis was used to test the hypothesized relationships.

RESULTS: Exposure to alcohol advertising on TV, print media, and outdoor advertising was positively related to the frequency of alcohol consumption. The relationship was mediated by cognitions favoring the advertising. Alcohol consumption in turn predicted the number of sex partners.

DISCUSSION: The double jeopardy of alcohol marketing effects on youth is demonstrated by confirming the strong positive effect on alcohol consumption, which in turn is related to sex with multiple partners. Implications for public policy and public health researchers are discussed and interventions are proposed.