Navigation Links
Friends' Facebook, Myspace photos affect risky behavior among teens
Date:9/2/2013

LOS ANGELES Teenagers who see friends smoking and drinking alcohol in photographs posted on Facebook and Myspace are more likely to smoke and drink themselves, according to a new study from the University of Southern California (USC).

"Our study shows that adolescents can be influenced by their friends' online pictures to smoke or drink alcohol," said Thomas W. Valente, Ph.D., professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and the study's principal investigator. "To our knowledge, this is the first study to apply social network analysis methods to examine how teenagers' activities on online social networking sites influence their smoking and alcohol use."

The study appears in the Sept. 3, 2013, online edition of the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Valente and his team surveyed 1,563 10th-grade students from the El Monte Union High School District in Los Angeles County in October 2010 and April 2011 about their online and offline friendship networks and the frequency of their social media use, smoking and alcohol consumption. At the time of the study, El Monte was the ninth largest city in the county, with a population of about 113,500.

The researchers found that the size of one's online network of friends was not significantly associated with risky behavior. Exposure to friends' online pictures of partying or drinking, however, was significantly associated with both smoking and alcohol use. Teens whose close friends did not drink alcohol were more likely to be affected by increasing exposure to risky online pictures.

"The evidence suggests that friends' online behaviors are a viable source of peer influence," said Grace C. Huang, Ph.D., MPH, a graduate of the Keck School of Medicine of USC's Health Behavior Research program and the study's first and corresponding author. "This is important to know, given that 95 percent of 12 to 17 year olds in the United States access the Internet every day, and 80 percent of those youth use online social networking sites to communicate."

Students who responded to the survey were evenly distributed across gender and on average 15 years old. About two-thirds were Hispanic/Latino and about one-fourth were Asian, which closely reflects the ethnic distribution of El Monte. In April 2011, nearly 30 percent of respondents had smoked and more than half had at least one drink of alcohol. Roughly one-third of students reported having at least one friend who smoked and/or consumed alcohol.

Almost half of all students reported visiting Facebook and Myspace regularly. Between October 2010 and April 2011, Facebook use (75 percent) increased while Myspace use (13 percent) decreased. On average, 34 percent of students had at least one friend who talked about partying online and 20 percent reported that their friends posted party/drinking pictures online.

In line with earlier studies, the researchers observed differences between Facebook and Myspace users. Facebook-only users had higher grades, spoke more English at home and were more likely to have a higher socio-economic status. They were less likely to be Hispanic and less likely to have ever smoked or drank alcohol. While Facebook use did not seem to affect smoking or drinking, the study found that higher levels of Myspace use was associated with higher levels of drinking.

Further research might examine how online and offline friendships differ in terms of activities and interactions they have with each other, Huang said.

"Little is known about how social media use affects adolescent health behaviors," said Huang, who now is a post-doctoral fellow at the National Cancer Institute. "Our study suggests that it may be beneficial to teach teens about the harmful effects of posting risky behaviors online and how those displays can hurt their friends."


'/>"/>

Contact: Alison Trinidad
alison.trinidad@usc.edu
323-442-3941
University of Southern California - Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Pretty Mommies Launches a Safe Maternity Skin Care Campaign and Website with the Help of Their Friends at the Blogging Mamas Network
2. Best Friends Decries Study Calling for Eradication of Community Cats
3. Friends in Need Are Friends Indeed
4. National Alliance For Hispanic Health Leads Diverse “Friends of the Court” in Support of NYC Policy to Reduce Sugary Drink Portion Size
5. Travel Services MyTSOnline's Travel Center Top Complaint of Members - the Ability to Coordinate Vacation Time with Family and Friends
6. A Top Complaint of Delta Travel Center Members in Valencia - The Ability to Coordinate Vacations with Family and Friends
7. Top Complaint of Crystal Travel Center Members in Thousand Oaks - Time to Coordinate with Family and Friends
8. Victory Boosts Testosterone Levels, But Not Among Friends
9. Fun and friends help ease the pain of breast cancer
10. Jerome Karam, an Attorney in Houston, has Completed the Buyout and Remodeling of Friendswood Fitness
11. People Happier When They Get More Sex Than Their Friends: Study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/29/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2017 , ... Phytomer USA ... As a Phytomer Account Manager, Smith’s role is to provide excellent customer ... that make up The Phytomer Group. Smith comes to Phytomer with a wealth of ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... The National Campaign to ... the Access to Contraception for Women Servicemembers and Dependents Act of 2017. The ... will help to ensure that all members of the Armed Forces receive high ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey ... “A” and its outlook as “stable.” At the same time, the ratings agency cautioned ... recent years, dip below “capital adequacy” thresholds required for its strong rating. , “Horizon ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... The Radiology Business Management ... officers for 2017-2018. The annual board election process has been in place since the ... , Thomas C. Dickerson, Ed.D., FACHE, succeeds Jim Hamilton, MHA, CMM, FRBMA, as president. ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... ... liability could substantially improve drug safety and minimize the cost of development. In ... ion channel inhibition using cell lines and for cardiac toxicity using induced pluripotent ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/19/2017)... 19, 2017  Novartis today announced the publication ... Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National ... patients with treatment-naïve severe aplastic anemia (SAA) achieved ... eltrombopag at the initiation of and concurrently with ... three sequential treatment groups, or cohorts. Cohort 3 ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... MINNEAPOLIS , April 18, 2017 Cogentix ... focused on providing the Urology, Uro/Gyn and Gynecology markets ... for the first quarter ended March 31, 2017 after ... The Company will host a conference call ... day on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at 4:30 p.m. ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... , April 18, 2017  Astute Medical, Inc., developer ... series to be presented at the 2017 National Kidney ... today and continues through April 22. Physicians will present ... used to assess risk for acute kidney injury (AKI) ... failure (ADHF). Elevated levels of TIMP-2 ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: