Monday, April 13, 2015

Teens Drinking Up the Influence of Alcohol Use in the Movies

By: Lewis First, MD, MS; Editor-in-Chief  

      We have published a number of studies over the years in regard the influence of risk-taking behaviors seen in popular films.  We've explored violence and tobacco use in media and the influence on teens at length in the past. This week, we share a new study on alcohol use in film and subsequent adolescent alcohol use authored by Waylen et al. (doi: 10.1542/peds.2014-2978).  The authors did a cross-sectional look at more than 5000 15-year-old teens in the UK in a longitudinal population-based cohort, and compared exposure to alcohol in films with age of onset of alcohol use as well as binge-drinking behavior while controlling for other confounding risk factors.  
      Are you surprised at this finding?  Do you ask your teens about the behavior they see on the screen and how they feel about them in real life?  We would love to hear your take on this study and what you find helpful in preventing the strong association described in this study.  Would it be helpful to have films put a risk-taking rating more clearly on films so parents can better monitor what teens are being exposed to even in the PG-13 films they go to see?   
     Share your thoughts on this study by responding to this blog, sending us an e-letter, or posting your comments on our Facebook and Twitter sites.  

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