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ERIC Number: ED443062
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Feb
Pages: 46
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
"Here's Looking at You, Kid": Alcohol, Drugs, and Tobacco in Entertainment Media. A Literature Review Prepared for The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University.
Roberts, Donald F.; Christenson, Peter G.
Over the past several decades, both health researchers and communication researchers have worried about the degree to which media seem to legitimize, glamorize, or otherwise encourage a variety of health-related risk behaviors, and conversely, the degree to which media can be used to help prevent these behaviors. These behaviors have ranged from poor dietary habits, violence, and unsafe sexual practices, to the primary concern of this review: consumption of such risk-related substances as alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs. The fundamental premise of such concerns is that to the extent that young audiences encounter media portrayals of substance use, their health-related beliefs, attitudes, and behavior may be influenced-for better or for worse, depending on the nature of the portrayal. This report examines research on the frequency and nature of media portrayals of the use of alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs, and--more briefly--the few studies that have examined the effects of exposure to such portrayals, particularly effects on children and adolescents. Results show that for television, alcohol remains the substance most likely to be portrayed; tobacco use has decreased markedly from the 1950s through the 1980s, yet has risen during the 1990s; and illicit drug use portrayals appear to be more frequent now than in the 1970s. Results for movies show that alcohol consumption occurs in almost all movies and has for many years; tobacco-use trends appear to parallel those for television; and illicit drugs seem to parallel the increase seen in television. Seventeen percent of current songs make reference to alcohol, 3% refer to tobacco use, and 18% include references to drugs. Recommendations for future research are discussed. (Contains 55 references.) (MKA)
Copies of this publication (Document #3000) are available by calling the Kaiser Family Foundation's publication request line at 800-656-4533, or through their website at
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Menlo Park, CA.
Authoring Institution: Columbia Univ., New York, NY. National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse.