Research & Resources

Social Networking and Alcohol Use by Adolescents

In this study, researchers sought to identify distinct patterns of social networking site (SNS) use across multiple platforms (Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat) and to assess associations between those patterns and alcohol use outcomes among adolescents ages 15–20. Researchers empirically derived three SNS use profiles: low SNS users; high-frequency, low-duration SNS users; and high-frequency, high-duration SNS users. Significant differences in daily drinking and Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) scores were observed for the three profiles, with members of the high-frequency, high-duration profile reporting significantly more weekly drinks and higher AUDIT scores than the other two profiles. Results suggest that a simple understanding of SNS frequency and duration of use may provide enough information to indicate adolescents who may be at risk for increased alcohol use.

This paper, “Social networking site use and alcohol use behaviors among adolescents: A latent profile analysis,” was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and published in the journal Addictive Behaviors.

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