Likelihood of Posting Alcohol-Related Content on Social Networking Sites – Measurement Development and Initial Validation

Rose Marie Ward, Tara M. Dumas, Melissa Ardelle Lewis, Dana M. Litt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The vast majority of adolescents and young adults are active on social networking sites (SNSs). SNSs are influential, risk-conducive environments for alcohol use among adolescents and young adults. Specifically, posting or sharing alcohol-related content (ARC) is associated with higher levels of alcohol use. However, it is unknown if sharing different types of ARC associates differentially with alcohol use and consequences. Objective: The goal of the current project was to develop a measure of the likelihood of posting key types of ARC posted by adolescents and young adults and to examine their associations with SNS use patterns and actual alcohol-related behavior. Method: Participants were 15–20 years of age (n = 306; 46.7% male; 56.6% Caucasian/White; 27.0% Asian) who completed a battery of self-report measures. Results: Results from an exploratory factor analysis revealed four types of ARC: (1) self and friend consumption, (2) memes and viral photos, (3) status updates: others’ drinking and consequences, and (4) pictures: others’ drinking and consequences. Conclusions: Participants’ likelihood of posting self and Friend Consumption was significantly associated with heightened Snapchat use, typical drinks per week, peak drinking, and negative drinking consequences. Whereas youth appear to share more readily alcohol-related viral posts and memes, it seems that the sharing of ARC that is specifically related to the participants’ own use or friends’ use is salient concerning alcohol use and problems. Therefore, interventions might consider sending targeted prevention messages to individuals who share certain types of ARC which are more associated with problematic alcohol behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1111-1119
Number of pages9
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Volume57
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Alcohol
  • alcohol-related content
  • college students
  • social media

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