Adolescent (Mis)perceptions of Peer Alcohol Posts on Social Media: Prospective Associations with Alcohol Attitudes and Use
Link to full item
In this study of 435 adolescents, researchers examined the perception of peer posting of alcohol content to social media as a potential risk factor for adolescent alcohol use. The study’s aims were to compare perceived friend, perceived typical person, and an adolescent’s own posting of alcohol content to social media and examine how these perceptions prospectively relate to alcohol willingness, expectancies, and use after accounting for offline perceived peer alcohol use. The participants reported that 60.3% of typical people their age and 30.6% of their friends posted alcohol content to social media. By contrast, only 7% of participants reported that they themselves posted such content to social media. After accounting for offline perceived peer drinking norms, neither perceived friend nor perceived typical person posting of alcohol content to social media was prospectively associated with willingness to drink or alcohol expectancies. Perceived friend posting of alcohol content was, however, prospectively positively associated with past 30-day alcohol consumption even after controlling for offline perceived peer drinking norms. The researchers concluded that adolescents misperceived the frequency of alcohol-related peer posting to social media. They proposed that the findings suggest that prevention efforts may benefit from addressing misperceptions of alcohol-related peer posting to social media.
This paper, “Adolescent (mis)perceptions of peer alcohol posts on social media: Prospective associations with alcohol attitudes and use,” was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and experimental research.