Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


National survey links teen binge drinking and alcohol brand references in pop music


Binge drinking by teenagers and young adults is strongly associated with liking, owning, and correctly identifying music that references alcohol by brand name according to a study by the University of Pittsburgh and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center.

These findings, based on a national randomized survey of more than 2,500 people ages 15 to 23, suggests that policy and educational interventions designed to limit the influence of alcohol brand references in popular music could be important in reducing alcohol consumption in teens and young adults. The results are published online in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

"Brand references may serve as advertising, even if they are not paid for by the industry," said senior author James D. Sargent, MD, co-director of the Cancer Control Research Program at Norris Cotton Cancer Center and professor of pediatrics in the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.

Alcohol is considered the third leading lifestyle-related cause of death in the U.S. according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Of the 2,541 participants who completed the survey, 1,488, or 59 percent, reported having had a complete alcoholic drink, defined as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor. Of those, 18 percent reported binging – or drinking heavily over a short period of time – at least monthly and 37 percent reported having had problems, such as injuries, due to alcohol.

"Every year, the average adolescent is exposed to about 3,000 references to alcohol brands while listening to music," said lead author Brian A. Primack, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine and pediatrics and director of the Program for Research on Media and Health, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. "It is important that we understand the impact of these references to alcohol brands in an age group that can be negatively impacted by alcohol consumption."

In the survey, which could be completed either through the Internet or on paper, participants were given the titles of popular songs with alcohol mentions and asked if they liked the song or owned the song. They were also tested to determine if they could spontaneously recall what brand of alcohol was mentioned in the song.

Survey participants who could correctly recall alcohol brands in songs had more than twice the odds of having had a complete alcoholic drink, compared to those who could not recall the alcohol brand, even after adjusting for factors including age, socioeconomic status, and alcohol use by a parent or friend. The participants who could identify the alcohol brands in songs also had greater odds of binge alcohol use.

"A surprising result of our analysis was that the association between recalling alcohol brands in popular music and alcohol drinking in adolescents was as strong as the influence of parental and peer drinking, and an adolescent's tendency toward sensation-seeking," said Primack. "This may illustrate the value that this age group places in the perceived opinions and actions of music stars."

The authors suggest that one possible solution could be to empower adolescents with critical thinking skills. "Media literacy is a growing educational methodology that may be successful in helping young people make healthier decisions," Pimrack said. "In the case of alcohol, it may be valuable to help them understand how alcohol brand references in music may manipulate their thoughts and emotions to sell them a product."


About Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock

Norris Cotton Cancer Center combines advanced cancer research at Dartmouth and the Geisel School of Medicine with patient-centered cancer care provided at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, at Dartmouth-Hitchcock regional locations in Manchester, Nashua, and Keene, NH, and St. Johnsbury, VT, and at 12 partner hospitals throughout New Hampshire and Vermont. It is one of 41 centers nationwide to earn the National Cancer Institute's "Comprehensive Cancer Center" designation. Learn more about Norris Cotton Cancer Center research, programs, and clinical trials online at

Donna Dubuc | EurekAlert!

Further reports about: Cancer Dartmouth Medicine adolescents alcohol alcoholic brands drink drinking parental

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New Formula for Life-Satisfaction
01.10.2015 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Carbon storage in soils: Climate vs. Geology
14.09.2015 | Universität Augsburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Light Touch May Help Animals and Robots Move on Sand and Snow

Having a light touch can make a hefty difference in how well animals and robots move across challenging granular surfaces such as snow, sand and leaf litter. Research reported October 9 in the journal Bioinspiration & Biomimetics shows how the design of appendages – whether legs or wheels – affects the ability of both robots and animals to cross weak and flowing surfaces.

Using an air fluidized bed trackway filled with poppy seeds or glass spheres, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology systematically varied the...

Im Focus: Reliable in-line inspections of high-strength automotive body parts within seconds

Nondestructive material testing (NDT) is a fast and effective way to analyze the quality of a product during the manufacturing process. Because defective materials can lead to malfunctioning finished products, NDT is an essential quality assurance measure, especially in the manufacture of safety-critical components such as automotive B-pillars. NDT examines the quality without damaging the component or modifying the surface of the material. At this year's Blechexpo trade fair in Stuttgart, Fraunhofer IZFP will have an exhibit that demonstrates the nondestructive testing of high-strength automotive body parts using 3MA. The measurement results are available in a matter of seconds.

To minimize vehicle weight and fuel consumption while providing the highest level of crash safety, automotive bodies are reinforced with elements made from...

Im Focus: Kick-off for a new era of precision astronomy

The MICADO camera, a first light instrument for the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), has entered a new phase in the project: by agreeing to a Memorandum of Understanding, the partners in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Austria, and Italy, have all confirmed their participation. Following this milestone, the project's transition into its preliminary design phase was approved at a kick-off meeting held in Vienna. Two weeks earlier, on September 18, the consortium and the European Southern Observatory (ESO), which is building the telescope, have signed the corresponding collaboration agreement.

As the first dedicated camera for the E-ELT, MICADO will equip the giant telescope with a capability for diffraction-limited imaging at near-infrared...

Im Focus: Locusts at the wheel: University of Graz investigates collision detector inspired by insect eyes

Self-driving cars will be on our streets in the foreseeable future. In Graz, research is currently dedicated to an innovative driver assistance system that takes over control if there is a danger of collision. It was nature that inspired Dr Manfred Hartbauer from the Institute of Zoology at the University of Graz: in dangerous traffic situations, migratory locusts react around ten times faster than humans. Working together with an interdisciplinary team, Hartbauer is investigating an affordable collision detector that is equipped with artificial locust eyes and can recognise potential crashes in time, during both day and night.

Inspired by insects

Im Focus: Physicists shrink particle accelerator

Prototype demonstrates feasibility of building terahertz accelerators

An interdisciplinary team of researchers has built the first prototype of a miniature particle accelerator that uses terahertz radiation instead of radio...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

EHFG 2015: Securing healthcare and sustainably strengthening healthcare systems

01.10.2015 | Event News

Conference in Brussels: Tracking and Tracing the Smallest Marine Life Forms

30.09.2015 | Event News

World Alzheimer`s Day – Professor Willnow: Clearer Insights into the Development of the Disease

17.09.2015 | Event News

Latest News

Siemens to build light rail vehicles for cities in the US

12.10.2015 | Press release

Siemens to add an additional 173 megawatts to Clyde onshore wind farm in Scotland

12.10.2015 | Press release

Scientists paint quantum electronics with beams of light

12.10.2015 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>