Last updated on: 10/24/2011 | Author:

Alexander C. Wagenaar, PhD Biography

Professor of Health Outcomes and Policy in the College of Medicine at the University of Florida
Con to the question "Should the Drinking Age Be Lowered from 21 to a Younger Age?"

“Compared with a wide range of other programs and efforts to reduce drinking among teenagers, increasing the legal age for purchase and consumption of alcohol to 21 appears to have been the most successful effort to date. The magnitude of effects of the age-21 policy may appear small, particularly in studies using weak research designs and having low levels of statistical power. However, even modest effects applied to the entire population of youth result in very large societal benefits… [T]he large proportion of MLDA (minimum legal drinking age) studies that found a significant inverse relationship with various outcomes gives strong support for the effectiveness of the MLDA.”

Cowritten with Traci L. Toomey, PhD, “Effects of Minimum Drinking Age Laws: Review and Analyses of the Literature from 1960 to 2000,” Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 2002

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Professor of Health Outcomes and Policy, College of Medicine, University of Florida, 2004-present
  • Faculty Member, Institute for Child Health Policy, University of Florida, 2004-present
  • Faculty Member, Graduate Faculty of Epidemiology, University of Florida College of Medicine, 2004-present
  • Associate Director, Public Health Law Research Program, Temple University
  • Member, Editorial Board, Prevention Science
  • Member, Editorial Board, Journal of Safety Research
  • Education:
  • PhD, Health Behavior, School of Public Health, University of Michigan
  • MSW, Program Evaluation and Research, University of Michigan
  • BA, Sociology (Honors Program), Calvin College
  • Other:
  • Recipient of an honorary Research Professorship award from the University of Florida Foundation, 2010
  • Recipient of the Prevention Science Award from the Society for Prevention Research, 2009
  • Named as a Highly Cited Researcher by the Institute for Scientific Information, 2004
  • Recipient of the Innovator’s Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2001
  • Recipient of the Jellinek Award for lifetime achievement in research on alcohol, 1999
  • Quoted in:
    Pro & Con Quotes: Should the Drinking Age Be Lowered from 21 to a Younger Age?