Media as a “Super peer”: How adolescents interpret media messages predicts their perception of alcohol and tobacco use norms
Elmore, K. C., Scull, T. M., & Kupersmidt, J. B. (2016). Media as a “Super peer”: How adolescents interpret media messages predicts their perception of alcohol and tobacco use norms. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 46(2), 376-387. doi:10.1007/s10964-016-0609-9
Objectives: Examine whether high school adolescents’ media-related cognitions are related to their perceptions of substance use norms.
Methods: Adolescents (n=817) from 14 high schools across several states completed a questionnaire on their media-related cognitions and perceptions of the prevalence of alcohol and tobacco use.
Results: Cognitions about media were a significant predictor of perceptions of alcohol and tobacco use and prevalence.
Conclusions: Critical thinking about media messages can inhibit normative perceptions that are likely to increase adolescents’ interest in alcohol and tobacco use.