Authors: Jennifer A. Epstein
Title: Adolescent computer use and alcohol use: What are the role of quantity and content of computer use?
Journal: Addictive Behaviors 36 (2011) 520–522

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between computer use and alcohol use among adolescents. In particular, the goal of the research was to determine the role of lifetime drinking and past month drinking on quantity as measured by amount of time on the computer (for school work and excluding school work) and on content as measured by the frequency of a variety of activities on the internet (e.g., e-mail, searching for information, social networking, listen to/download music). Participants (aged 13–17 years and residing in the United States) were recruited via the internet to complete an anonymous survey online using a popular survey tool (N=270). Their average age was 16 and the sample was predominantly female (63% girls). A series of analyses was conducted with the computer use measures as dependent variables (hours on the computer per week for school work and excluding school work; various internet activities including e-mail, searching for information, social networking, listen to/download music) controlling for gender, age, academic performance and age of first computer use. Based on the results, past month drinkers used the computer more hours per week excluding school work than those who did not. As expected, there were no differences in hours based on alcohol use for computer use for school work. Drinking also had relationships with more frequent social networking and listening to/downloading music. These findings suggest that both quantity and content of computer use were related to adolescent drinking.

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