Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Alcohol leaving the UK charts with a hangover

Date:
September 30, 2013
Source:
SAGE Publications
Summary:
Are we allowing alcohol marketing to children and teens via the music they love? As many as one in five songs in the UK top ten today include references to alcohol -- a figure rising partly due to US-imported songs. What impact is this having on the youth of today?

Are we allowing alcohol marketing to children and teens via the music they love? As many as one in five songs in the UK top ten today include references to alcohol -- a figure rising partly due to US-imported songs. What impact is this having on the youth of today? Experts warn that fresh evidence demonstrates that public health messages on alcohol may no longer be audible over the louder message from some sections of the music industry.

Related Articles


Researchers from Liverpool John Moores University, UK led by Katherine Hardcastle discuss their findings in: "Trends in alcohol portrayal in popular music: A longitudinal analysis of the UK charts" in the current issue of the journal Psychology of Music, published by SAGE.

Older children and teens listen to over two hours of music every day. Researchers in the United States have documented a rise in alcohol references, including mention of specific brands, in popular music. But until now, little data was available on comparable UK trends. Hardcastle's team selected four focal years for analysis, comparing music charts across four decades. They found a significant jump in the number of times alcohol was mentioned.

Songs charting in 1981 contained relatively few references to alcohol, with the number declining further in 1991. Rave culture was popular in this period; a music scene linked more to Ecstasy than alcohol. But the alcohol was back in music by 2001, featuring in eight percent of popular hits. This figure continues to climb, more than doubling by 2011, with almost one in five (18.5%) top 10 songs featuring alcohol-related lyrics. This pattern is consistent with US trends, although UK charts still have fewer alcohol mentions than their US counterparts.

Alcohol-related song lyrics are associated with urban song genres and US artists, with lyrics generally putting a positive spin on alcohol consumption. Drinking is linked to confidence, gregariousness or physical attractiveness, as well as outcomes such as wealth, success, or sex. Chart-topping singers voice the negative effects of alcohol on health and wellbeing far less frequently.

Lyrics have an impact beyond the US and UK, Hardcastle suggests, pointing out that US and British songs often have global appeal. For example, US artist Katy Perry's 2011 single "Last Friday Night" detailing excessive drinking and risky, antisocial behavior, achieved a top 10 position not only in the US and the UK, but also in Australia, Austria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lebanon, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Slovakia, Spain and Venezuela.

What do these alcohol references mean for young people? It is highly likely that we underestimate the true extent of exposure to pro-alcohol messages young people hear, says Hardcastle:

"Public health concerns are already focused on the impacts of alcohol advertising on the drinking behaviours of young people, yet the growing reference to alcohol in popular music could mean that alcohol promoting messages are reaching much larger audiences; regardless of restrictions (e.g. age) on direct advertising."

The study concludes that:

"The exposure of young people to alcohol in the media is a major concern given its potential impact on drinking behaviours [...] A greater under¬standing of the impacts of alcohol-related popular music content on young listeners is urgently needed. Health and other professionals should be vigilant for increases in alcohol-related lyrics and work to ensure that popular music does not become a medium for reinforcing and extending cultures of intoxication and alcohol-related harm."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Katherine A. Hardcastle, Karen Hughes, Olivia Sharples, and Mark A. Bellis. Trends in alcohol portrayal in popular music: A longitudinal analysis of the UK charts. Psychology of Music, September 2013 DOI: 10.1177/0305735613500701

Cite This Page:

SAGE Publications. "Alcohol leaving the UK charts with a hangover." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130930101844.htm>.
SAGE Publications. (2013, September 30). Alcohol leaving the UK charts with a hangover. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130930101844.htm
SAGE Publications. "Alcohol leaving the UK charts with a hangover." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130930101844.htm (accessed March 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, March 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AP (Mar. 25, 2015) — While distracted driving is not a new problem for teens, new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says it&apos;s much more serious than previously thought. (March 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 25, 2015) — European researchers say our smartphone use offers scientists an ideal testing ground for human brain plasticity. Dr Ako Ghosh&apos;s team discovered that the brains and thumbs of smartphone users interact differently from those who use old-fashioned handsets. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Many Don't Know They Have Alzheimer's, But Their Doctors Do

Many Don't Know They Have Alzheimer's, But Their Doctors Do

Newsy (Mar. 24, 2015) — According to a new study by the Alzheimer&apos;s Association, more than half of those who have the degenerative brain disease aren&apos;t told by their doctors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Quick 45-Minute Nap Can Improve Your Memory

A Quick 45-Minute Nap Can Improve Your Memory

Newsy (Mar. 23, 2015) — Researchers found those who napped for 45 minutes to an hour before being tested on information recalled it five times better than those who didn&apos;t. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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