Barbara McMorris, Ph.D., a senior research associate with the Center for Adolescent Nursing in the Healthy Youth Development
Prevention Research Center at the University of Minnesota, and colleagues sought to compare adolescents in two opposing alcohol
cultures. Washington state was chosen as representative of a culture that professes "zero tolerance" policies, in the form
of laws setting a minimum age for possession and purchase of alcohol with severe consequences for use and school district
policies that promote abstinence. Victoria, Australia, was selected to represent a "harm-minimization" policy, in which alcohol
use is considered part of normal adolescent development that parents should supervise to encourage responsible drinking. Government
guidelines in Victoria have, until recently, supported this approach.