To examine the continuing role of daily popular social media use in youth hazardous alcohol consumption in four countries across continents.
A web-based survey was given to youths aged 15–25 in the USA (n = 1212), South Korea (n = 1192), Finland (n = 1200) and Spain (n = 1212). Hazardous alcohol use (alcohol use disorders identification test-C) was the dependent variable. Main independent variables measured daily use of different social media services. Controls included compulsive Internet use, offline belonging, psychological distress, impulsivity, risk-taking, age and gender. Linear regression models and mediation analyses with bootstrapping were done for each country.
Daily use of Facebook and Instagram was associated with higher hazardous alcohol use among youths in Finland, South Korea and Spain. Daily instant messaging was related to higher hazardous alcohol use among South Korean and Finnish youths. Daily YouTube use was associated with higher hazardous alcohol use among youths in South Korea, but lower hazardous alcohol use among youths in the USA and Finland. Daily Twitter use was related to lower hazardous drinking among youths in Finland but higher hazardous drinking among youths in Spain. The mediation analyses revealed that uploading pictures to social media is a possible facilitator of social media-related hazardous alcohol use among youths in the USA and Spain.
Certain social media platforms might inspire and/or attract hazardously drinking youths, contributing to the growing opportunities for social media interventions.
Link to the pdf of the research paper: https://academic.oup.com/alcalc/article/55/1/86/5628206.