In this day and age, it’s extremely difficult (if not impossible) to avoid negative influences when it comes to drinking and abusing alcohol. So many aspects of our lives, especially in teenagers and young adults, revolve around drinking alcohol and pop culture can portray unhealthy drinking habits in a positive light.
This infographic provides some tips on how you can help reduce the spread of alcohol abuse among teenagers and the younger generations.
Pop culture has had a major impact on the drinking habits of young adults. Various forms of media have been shown to affect adolescent alcohol use, and the challenge of counteracting these ever-present influencers falls on the entire community.
Here are some daily actions you can take to fight against these media effects and help to reduce the spread of alcohol abuse:
The effect of social media advertising by alcohol companies can be mediated or enhanced by other factors such as the viewer’s personality, extent of internet use, and friends’ and family members’ decisions to drink.1
Resist posting photos and videos of drinking; try not to drink in front of kids and adolescents; and limit online time to a certain amount every day.
The impact of film portrayals of drinking can be affected by expectations surrounding drinking, prototypes of people who drink, and friends’ alcohol use.2
Make sure to discuss—especially with adolescents—the more negative consequences of drinking and what happens to people who engage in problematic drinking behaviors.
Television’s influence functions as a product of how drinking is presented—positively or negatively. The extent that viewers identify with drinking characters and drinking situations may play a big role in how they end up feeling about alcohol after watching a show.3
Opt for shows that either don’t feature heavy/frequent drinking or ones that feature drinking in an un-relatable or negative way.
Most songs that reference alcohol or drinking portray positive social, sexual, financial, or emotional benefits,4 and references to particular brands are associated with binge drinking.5
Try to limit adolescents’ exposure to alcohol-referencing music. Offer alternatives that don’t mention brand names or glamorize alcohol.
- McClure, A. C., Tanski, S. E., Li, Z., Jackson, K., Morgenstern, M., Li, Z., & Sargent, J. D. (2016). Internet alcohol marketing and underage alcohol use. Pediatrics, 137(2), 1–8.
- Cin, S. D., Worth, K. A., Gerrard, M., Gibbons, F. X., Stoolmiller, M., Wills, T. A., & Sargent, J. D. (2009). Watching and drinking: expectancies, prototypes, and peer affiliations mediate the effect of exposure to alcohol use in movies on adolescent drinking. Journal of Health Psychology, 28(4), 473–483.
- Van Hoof, J. J., de Jong, M. D. T., Fennis, B. M., & Gosselt, J. F. (2009). There’s alcohol in my soap: portrayal and effects of alcohol use in a popular television series. Health Education Resources, 24(3), 421–429.
- Primack, B. A., Dalton, M. A., Carroll, M. V., Agarwal, A. A., & Fine, M. J. (2008). Content analysis of tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs in popular music. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 162(2), 169–175.
- Primack, B. A., McClure, A., Li, Z., & Sargent, J. D. (2014). Receptivity to and recall of alcohol brand appearances in U.S. popular music and alcohol-related behaviors. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 38(6), 1737–1744.