Cover: Middle and High Schools Students' Exposure to Alcohol- and Smoking-Related Media

Middle and High Schools Students' Exposure to Alcohol- and Smoking-Related Media

A Pilot Study Using Ecological Momentary Assessment

Published in: Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, v. 27, no. 4, Dec. 2013, p. 1201-1206

Posted on rand.org 2013

by Deborah M. Scharf, Steven C. Martino, Claude Messan Setodji, B. Lynette Staplefoote, William G. Shadel

The goals of this study were to assess the feasibility of using Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) to measure adolescents' exposure to alcohol and smoking-related media. A sample of 20 middle and high school students completed a 2-week EMA protocol in which they monitored exposures to alcohol and smoking-related media. Results showed that adolescents were highly compliant with the study protocol. A total of 255 exposures to alcohol (67%) and smoking (33%) were captured, representing an average of 8.50 (SD = 5.82) alcohol-related media exposures and 4.25 (SD = 3.67) smoking-related media exposures per participant, during the study period. Exposures tended to occur in the afternoon (52% alcohol; 54% smoking), at point of sale (44% alcohol; 65% smoking), and on days leading up to the weekend (57% alcohol; 57% smoking). Exposures were also likely in the presence of family (69% alcohol; 56% smoking). Overall, results of this small pilot provide preliminary evidence that EMA is a useful tool for tracking and characterizing middle and high school students' real-world exposures to alcohol- and smoking-related media. Future studies may suggest mechanisms by which media exposures lead to youth uptake of drinking and smoking behaviors.

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