Title

Double Vision on Social Media: How Self-Generated Alcohol-Related Content Posts Moderate the Link between Viewing Others' Posts and Drinking

DOI

10.1080/10810730.2021.1878311

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1-2-2021

Publication Title

Journal of health communication

Volume

26

Issue

1

First Page

12

Last Page

18

Abstract

A robust finding is the positive association between self-generated alcohol-related content (SG-ARC) on social media (SM) and drinking among emerging adults; however, the reasons for this relationship are still unclear. A factor that has yet to be explored in combination with SG-ARC is how viewing others' alcohol-related content (ARC) may be impacting young adults' drinking. This cross-sectional study conducted across two universities asked students ( = 780; = 20.80 years old; = 2.29; 67.82% female) to self-report how many SG-ARC posts they posted, to estimate how much they saw others' ARC, and how much they drank weekly. SG-ARC was then evaluated as a moderator of the association between viewing others' ARC and drinking. A negative binomial regression model with robust sandwich estimators was employed. Results revealed that both SG-ARC and viewing others' ARC were positively associated with drinking. A significant two-way interaction between SG-ARC and others' ARC emerged such that viewing others' posts appeared to exert an influence on drinking, particularly for students who did not post as many SG-ARC posts. These findings provide evidence that seeing others' ARC may be socially influencing students to drink, especially if they do not post as much SG-ARC themselves, by altering their internalized drinking norms.

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