What's the difference? Reducing the effects of exposure to reality television shows displaying excessive alcohol use on Dutch adolescents' drinking intentions
Number of pages
SourceJournal of Children and Media, 8, 1, (2014), pp. 23-39
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI CW
Communicatie- en informatiewetenschappen
SW OZ BSI OGG
Journal of Children and Media
SubjectCommunication and Media; Persuasive Communication; Prevention and health regulation behavior by understandable personal narratives
The present experimental study investigated the effects of strengthening or weakening adolescents' perceptions of equivalence between themselves and the leading characters of a reality show displaying excessive alcohol consumption in the Nethderlands. A randomized between-subject design was used with three experimental conditions (instruction to either focus on similarities or differences with the characters or a neutral instruction) and one control group. A total of 108 adolescents (mean age 15.17) participated. Their alcohol-related attitudes and intentions were measured after watching a compilation of a popular real-life television show displaying excessive alcohol consumption. Drinking intentions were found to be significantly lower in participants who focused on differences compared to those in the similarities or neutral instruction condition. This study provides preliminary evidence that the effects of exposure to excessive alcohol consumption in popular television shows on drinking intentions can be diminished by focusing adolescents on the differences between themselves and the media characters. Being a first, pioneering study on this topic, the results might constitute an interesting starting point for future research.
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