Social networking site use and alcohol use behaviors among adolescents: A latent profile analysis

Alex M. Russell, Noel A. Vest, Dana M. Litt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Adolescent exposure to alcohol-related social networking site (SNS) content is associated with their own alcohol use. However, there is a need to better understand the relationship between varying levels of adolescent SNS use and alcohol-related risks. In this study, we sought to identify distinct patterns of SNS use across multiple platforms (Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat) and to assess associations between those patterns and alcohol use outcomes. Methods: Data were collected as part of a baseline assessment for a larger longitudinal experimental study. Participants (N = 306, age 15–20) completed measures of demographics, SNS use, and alcohol use. Results: Using latent profile analysis (LPA), three SNS use profiles were empirically derived: low SNS users (27.5%), high frequency, low duration users (47.4%), and high frequency, high duration users (25.2%). Significant differences in daily drinking (F [2, 301] = 3.39, p = 0.035) and AUDIT scores (F [2, 289] = 6.15, p = 0.002) were observed for the three profiles, with members of the high frequency, high duration profile reporting significantly more weekly drinks and higher AUDIT scores when compared to the other two profiles. Conclusion: These findings imply that a combination of high frequency and high duration SNS use may place individuals at risk for potentially problematic drinking. Given many clinicians have limited opportunities to delve into their patients’ SNS use patterns, results suggest that a simple understanding of frequency and duration of use may provide enough information to indicate who may be at risk.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107261
JournalAddictive Behaviors
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • Adolescents
  • Alcohol
  • Drinking
  • Latent profile analysis
  • Social media


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