Date of Award

Winter 1-8-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Monica Swahn

Second Advisor

Dr. Emily Graybill


Introduction: Alcohol consumption leads to a disproportionate number of deaths around the globe every given year. Most of the current research regarding alcohol consumption is conducted not only on the adult population, but among what could be considered affluent first-world counties in North America and Europe. This undermines two key populations, developing and under-resourced countries, and youth. Alcohol marketing is also a widely used tool to advance sales within countries, however its impact upon communities is also lacking research. This study seeks to not only advance research by studying youth in Kampala, Uganda, but to look at the relationship between drinking habits and alcohol marketing exposure among youth who live on the streets and in the slums.

Methods: The Kampala Youth Survey is a cross-sectional survey administered in 2014 to youth ages 12 to 18 years old, living in the slums of Kampala, Uganda (n=1,134). This study subset its survey population to look specifically at youth who had responded to questions regarding drinking habits and alcohol exposure (n=413). Descriptive statistics were calculated and logistic regression was conducted using SAS 9.3.

Results: Among the population of youth included within the study, 89.1% had a high exposure to alcohol marketing within their communities. Among participants, 84.18% had consumed alcohol within the past year and 94.49% had consumed alcohol within the last 30 days. The results of the logistic regression showed that there was a significant association between age and alcohol consumption within the last year and within the last 30 days in 2014. It also showed that certain locations were also a significant indicator of alcohol consumption. High alcohol marketing exposure was not seen as significant over low exposure, though high levels reported could indicate that future research will find it to be significant.

Conclusions: Exposure to alcohol marketing towards youth is a dangerous and impactful tool that can lead to alcohol consumption. While this study could not show that a higher exposure to alcohol marketing impacts drinking at a higher rate, the results suggest that alcohol marketing exposure in any form can impact drinking habits within youth. This realization is dangerous and gives pathways for not only future studies, but future regulations around alcohol marketing to protect youth not only in Kampala, but globally.

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Available for download on Saturday, December 11, 2021