Megan StrowgerRachel Ayala GuzmanRachel B. GeyerRose Marie WardAbby L. Braitman; Drug and Alcohol Review; 29 April 2023



Frequent exposure to peer-shared alcohol-related content (ARC) on social media is associated with greater alcohol consumption and related consequences among undergraduates. Social media influencers also share ARC; yet, the effect of exposure to influencer-shared ARC on alcohol outcomes has not been examined. The current study examined whether following influencers who share ARC and the frequency of sharing were associated with alcohol outcomes, and associations between influencer type (e.g., actors) and alcohol outcomes.


Undergraduates (N = 528) from two universities in the United States completed an online survey assessing demographics, social media use, alcohol use and related consequences. They listed up to five influencers they followed and viewed the most content from. A series of linear regression models were conducted.


Having a larger proportion of influencers sharing ARC was associated with greater quantity, frequency and peak drinks, but not consequences. Frequency of influencers sharing ARC was associated with greater quantity and peak drinks, but not frequency or consequences. Findings remained significant, even after controlling for peer ARC. Actor ARC, everyday person ARC and ‘other’ type influencer ARC were associated with several alcohol outcomes.

Discussion and Conclusions

This study added to the literature by examining how following influencers who share ARC, and sharing frequency, were associated with drinking outcomes over and above exposure to peer ARC. It also examined whether ARC content from specific types of influencers was associated with alcohol outcomes. Findings highlight that the source of ARC is relevant when studying the effects of ARC exposure on college drinking.

Original article

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