TV shows convey mixed messages about alcohol

March 25, 2009,

Efforts to dissuade youth consumption through negative alcohol consumption depictions can be thwarted by portrayals of positive consumption in prime-time television programming. A new study in the Journal of Consumer Affairs reveals that television series often portray mixed messages about alcohol, but the positive and negative messages were shown differently.

The research, led by Dale W. Russell and Cristel A. Russell, research scientists at the Prevention Research Center, is based on a content analysis of prime-time series from the 2004-05 season. The primary, more central, message was often associated with negative elements such as crime, addiction, or lowered job performance while the secondary, more subtle was almost always associated with positive outcomes, such as having fun or partying. Thus, the positive messages might undermine any negative messages.

"Policymakers and parents need to remain vigilant in monitoring alcohol depictions, especially product placements, given the current environment of self-regulation of the alcohol industry's marketing/advertising efforts," the authors conclude.

Because of television's effect on the audience's attitudes and behaviors, the prevalence of alcohol messages in the content of television programs raises concerns over their likely impact on audiences, especially young ones. The research team is continuing its efforts to study how such messages are processed and the consequences they have on viewers' beliefs about alcohol and drinking behaviors.

Source: Wiley (news : web)

Explore further: Researchers find primary alcohol prevention programs are needed for 'tweens'

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dbren
1 / 5 (1) Mar 25, 2009
So, the program producers should lie? Always portray alcohol use as negative? Didn't we learn any thing from D.A.R.E.? Kids are pretty well adapted to discern propaganda when they see it. My best friends to this day are the ones I went to logging road keggers with in high school. That's a positive outcome in my book. I guess if these people have their way, our life story will never be allowed on television.
PaulLove
not rated yet Mar 31, 2009
Alcohol in moderation can be a social engineering tool. Dbren mentioned lifelong friends. In moderation it lowers social and mental inhibitions you talk with people you might not normally you share things you might not under regular circumstances allowing the building of trust and friendships that can last a lifetime.

However as E. L. noted as an AA some people do not have control and continue to excess. This can cause a great deal of harm. It would be like driving a car without brakes lots of people could get hurt. The wisdom displayed by avoiding what you cant control is often something many people lack.

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