Publication Date



Contexts: Alcohol-branded merchandise (ABM) has a longer shelf-life than other forms of alcohol marketing and the potential to become integrated into children’s self-identities.

Objective: This review sought to explore the current literature on children’s exposure to, and the impact of, ABM. Data sources: PsycInfo, Proquest, Science Direct, and ABI-Inform databases were searched from the earliest available date to May 2015. Additional studies were identified by a manual review of the reference lists of retrieved articles and contacting the corresponding author of each included study.

Study selection: Articles that reported on child or adolescent ownership of ABM and/or the relationship between ABM ownership and drinking were included.

Data extraction: Data on key measures were tabulated; where data of interest were not reported, requests for further information were sent to the articles’ authors.

Results: Nine cross-sectional and 4 longitudinal studies were identified. ABM ownership ranged from 11% to 59% and was higher among older children and males. Seven cross-sectional studies reported associations between ABM ownership and drinking-related behaviors. All 4 longitudinal studies reported a significant relationship between ownership at baseline and drinking initiation at follow-up.

Limitations: The small number of available studies, with different measures of ABM ownership and of associations/effects.

Conclusions: The few studies exploring ABM ownership are consistent in showing high rates of ownership and associations between ownership and current and future drinking. There is a need for further research into specific aspects of ABM ownership. However, there is also a need for policy interventions to reduce children’s access to and ownership of ABM.


Centre for Health and Social Research

Document Type

Open Access Journal Article

Access Rights

Open Access


This is an accepted manuscript.