#drunktwitter: Examining the relations between alcohol-related Twitter content and alcohol willingness and use among underage young adults

Drug and Alcohol Dependence
Dana M LittAlex Swanson

Abstract

Despite the importance of social networking sites on young adult alcohol use, few studies have examined Twitter as a conduit for sharing drinking behavior. However, this work generally uses random samples of tweets and thus cannot determine the extent to which Tweets correspond with self-reported drinking cognitions or behaviors. The primary aims of the present study were to (1) document basic patterns of alcohol-related Twitter activity in a subsample of young adult drinkers, and (2) examine whether willingness to drink, alcohol use, and negative consequences are associated with alcohol-related tweeting behavior. 186 young adults age 18-20 completed an online survey and provided Twitter handle information. From these participants, a random sample of 5000 Tweets was coded by a trained team to determine whether tweets were related to alcohol use or not. Ordinary least squares regression analyses were conducted to determine whether the proportion of alcohol-related Tweets is associated with self-reported alcohol use willingness, behaviors, and negative consequences. Results indicated that not only are alcohol-related tweets common among young adults, but that the proportion of one's overall tweets that are related to alcohol is s...Continue Reading

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