Teens Watch on YouTube Other Teens Drinking

Posted on 02/23/2015 11:02:00 AM

In the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, a study was done of videos on YouTube of teens' drinking behavior. 

The following is quoted from the abstract: 

Results: There were a total of 333,246,875 views for all videos combined. While 89% of videos involved males, only 49% involved females. The videos had a median of 1,646 (interquartile range [IQR] 300 to 22,969) “like” designations and 33 (IQR 14 to 1,261) “dislike” designations each. Liquor was most frequently represented, followed by beer and then wine/champagne. Nearly one-half (44%) of videos contained a brand reference. Humor was juxtaposed with alcohol use in 79% of videos, and motor vehicle use was present in 24%. There were significantly more likes per dislike, indicating more positive sentiment, when there was representation of liquor (29.1 vs. 11.4, = 0.008), brand references (32.1 vs. 19.2, = 0.04), and/or physical attractiveness (67.5 vs. 17.8, < 0.001).

Conclusions: Internet videos depicting alcohol intoxication are heavily viewed. Nearly half of these videos involve a brand-name reference. While these videos commonly juxtapose alcohol intoxication with characteristics such as humor and attractiveness, they infrequently depict negative clinical outcomes. The popularity of this site may provide an opportunity for public health intervention.

I thought this was interesting both as clinician and parent.  In talking with my kids about drinking, I might ask if they have seen or searched for videos of drunk fails. If so, I would ask "what do you think happened to those drinking the next hour, the next day, the next year, the next 10 years?"  "What about this person's drinking behavior is appealing to you?"  "Why do you think people "like" this video?"  

Elsewhere on this blog there are articles about talking to your kids about drinking. Search under Teens.