Friday, March 9, 2012
It is no secret that in today’s age our children’s most influential medium is film. What children and young adults see in movies can greatly influence one’s behavior - including drug and alcohol use. A new study conducted in six European nations has found that when children see drinking in movies it will influence their own drinking habits.
More than 16,000 students, ages 10 to 19, in: Germany, Iceland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and Scotland were given surveys. They were asked to check off which of 50 movies that were popular in their country they had seen. Researchers then counted how many times characters were shown drinking alcohol, according to Reuters. At least 86 percent of the movies had at least one drinking scene.
The amount of exposure to alcohol in the movies was compared with how many teens reported having had taken part in binge drinking (having five or more drinks on a single occasion). Twenty-seven percent of the students reported binge drinking at least once. Between 10 to 20 percent of students who viewed the least on-screen drinking had binged themselves, compared with 40 percent who had seen the most on-screen drinking.
Study author Reiner Hanewinkel, PhD, told Reuters that teenagers “have seen at least thousands of impressions of smoking and drinking, so it shapes their attitude that these kinds of behavior are adult-like behavior. It makes the alcohol drinking look cool and sexy and so-on.”