Roberson, A. A., McKinney, C., Walker, C., & Coleman, A. (2018). Peer, social media, and alcohol marketing influences on college student drinking. Journal of American college health, 66(5), 369-379.


Objective: To investigate how alcohol marketing and peers may promote college students’ alcohol use through social media. Participants: College students (N D 682) aged 18 to 22 years from a large Southern university completed paper surveys in April 2014.

Methods: Structural equation modeling was used to investigate relationships among variables as well as moderation by gender and race.

Results: Drinking behavior was directly related to perceived norms and attitudes toward alcohol that develop, in part, from direct and indirect interactions with their online and offline peers, as well as engagement with alcohol-related content on social media. Gender and ethnicity moderated some effects.

Conclusions: College student drinking is influenced by friends’ alcohol-related content posted on social networking sites and by greater engagement with traditional and online alcohol marketing. College campus alcohol misuse interventions should include components to counter peer influences and alcohol marketing on social media.


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