A new study from six European countries suggests that teens who see more boozy scenes in movies are more likely to binge drink.
Although the study doesn’t prove that watching drinking on screen directly leads to alcohol consumption in real life, the authors believe that media influence does come into play, suggesting that teens who watch drinking scenes in movies may be more likely to imitate movie stars or view binge drinking as socially acceptable. Notably, the association between movie viewing and binge drinking persisted across various cultures, indicating that drinking laws or social norms about alcohol didn’t fully explain teens’ drinking habits.
Go right to the source and talk with teens. While they might not be quick to talk about their own drinking habits, they could shed light on whether the media has an influence on their peers when it comes to drinking.
Talk to local professionals who deal with drinking issues. Ask if they have seen a link between media and teen drinking.
Ask these same professionals for tips to offer parents who think they might have a child with a drinking problem. Also, parents can talk about how they keep their children away from movies that might be a negative influence.