Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Social media sites may reveal information about problem drinking among college students

Date:
October 4, 2011
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Social media websites, such as Facebook and MySpace, may reveal information that could identify underage college students who may be at risk for problem drinking, according to a new study.

Social media websites, such as Facebook and MySpace, may reveal information that could identify underage college students who may be at risk for problem drinking, according to a report published Online First by Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

According to background information in the article, alcohol is a major cause of injury and death among U.S. college students. "Approximately half of students who use alcohol report direct alcohol-related harms, and as many as 1,700 college student deaths each year are alcohol related," write the authors. They also note that although screening tools (such as the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, or AUDIT) are available to aid in identification of persons with problem drinking, screening at the population level among college students is challenging as many do not seek health care at student centers. However, the authors write, "one novel approach to identify college students who are at risk for problem drinking may be social networking sites (SNSs), such as Facebook and MySpace."

Megan A. Moreno, M.D., M.S.Ed., M.P.H., of the University of Wisconsin -- Madison, and colleagues evaluated the associations between displayed alcohol use and intoxication/problem drinking (I/PD) on Facebook and self-reported problem drinking using the AUDIT clinical scale. The AUDIT is a 10-question scale that assesses consumption, dependence and harm or consequences of alcohol use. A score of eight or higher indicates the person is at risk for problem drinking. The authors included undergraduate students (ages 18-20 years) at two state universities who had public Facebook profiles in the study.

Among 307 profiles identified, 224 participants completed the survey (73 percent response rate) and were included in the study. Of the Facebook profiles coded, 64.3 percent had no alcohol references displayed on the profile (nondisplayers), 19.6 percent had references to alcohol use (alcohol displayers), and 16.1 percent displayed references to intoxication or problem drinking (I/PD displayers). A total of 216 participants completed all AUDIT questions and received a total AUDIT score. Scores ranged from zero to 26, with a mean (average) score of 5.8 and a median (midpoint) score of five. Using the standard cutoff score for at-risk problem drinking of eight or higher, 35.4 percent of participants scored into the at-risk for problem drinking category.

The authors also found that displayed alcohol references on Facebook were positively associated with being categorized as at-risk for problem drinking with 58.3 percent of I/PD displayers meeting criteria for at-risk problem drinking, compared with 37.8 percent of alcohol displayers and 22.6 percent of nondisplayers meeting this criteria. As a group, the AUDIT scores for I/PD displayers was 9.5, the score for alcohol displayers was 6.7 and for nondisplayers it was 4.7. Compared with alcohol displayers, I/PD displayers had 1.48 times higher AUDIT scores. Men who were I/PD displayers had an 89 percent higher AUDIT score than men who were nondisplayers; differences between women in each group were not statistically significant.

Additionally, the I/PD displayers were more than twice as likely as the alcohol displayers (19 percent vs. 7 percent) and more than six times as likely as nondisplayers (19 percent vs. 3 percent) to report an alcohol-related injury in the past year.

"These study findings can be used for offering evidence-based guidance recommending that students who display references to I/PD on Facebook undergo clinical screening for problem alcohol use," the authors conclude. "Our findings suggest that targeting keywords that relate to I/PD, rather than to general keywords regarding alcohol, may provide an innovative method to deliver a tailored message to a target population."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Megan A. Moreno; Dimitri A. Christakis; Katie G. Egan; Libby N. Brockman; Tara Becker. Associations Between Displayed Alcohol References on Facebook and Problem Drinking Among College Students. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 2011; DOI: 10.1001/archpediatrics.2011.180

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Social media sites may reveal information about problem drinking among college students." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111003161707.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2011, October 4). Social media sites may reveal information about problem drinking among college students. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111003161707.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Social media sites may reveal information about problem drinking among college students." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111003161707.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Work Can Be Stressful, But Is Unemployment Worse?

Work Can Be Stressful, But Is Unemployment Worse?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) A new study shows stress at work can be hard on your health, but people who are unemployed might be at even greater risk of health problems. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google (Kind Of) Complies With 'Right To Be Forgotten Law'

Google (Kind Of) Complies With 'Right To Be Forgotten Law'

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Google says it is following Europe's new "Right To Be Forgotten Law," which eliminates user information upon request, but only to a certain degree. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stroke Signs: Three Hour Deadline

Stroke Signs: Three Hour Deadline

Ivanhoe (July 31, 2014) Sometimes the signs of a stroke are far from easy to recognize. Learn from one young father’s story on the signs of a stroke. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Grain Brain May Be Harming Us

Grain Brain May Be Harming Us

Ivanhoe (July 31, 2014) Could eating carbohydrates be harmful to our brain health? Find out what one neurologist says about changing our diets. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins