The content of leading YouTube videos involving alcohol intoxication commonly juxtapose intoxication with humour and attractiveness, thereby undermining its negative consequences, new study reveals.
The study on the content of the video sharing website says that negative clinical outcomes are infrequently depicted in the videos.
A variety of socio-demographic, personal, and environmental factors have been linked to negative consequences of alcohol-use during adolescence and adulthood. Media exposure to alcohol is one of these factors.
"Several studies have linked watching movies containing alcohol abuse in them with actual alcohol-related behaviours," said Brian A.Primack, corresponding author for the study.
"YouTube is an important medium to study for a couple of reasons," said Primack, an associate professor of medicine and paediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh.
He and his colleagues systematically captured the 70 most relevant and popular videos on YouTube related to alcohol intoxication.
"Combined, these videos had been viewed about a third of a billion times. They involved males more as compared to females, and almost half (44%) referred to a specific brand name of alcohol," said Primack.
"While active intoxication was frequently shown (86%), only a few (7%) referred to alcohol dependence or withdrawal. There were more 'likes' when humour was present compared to the time when it was not.And more 'positive sentiment' when a brand name or was mentioned and when there was 'attractiveness' present.
"However, there was few positive sentiment as compared to negative emotions or physical consequences that were shown due to alcohol use," said Primack.
The researchers believe that YouTube might also be used to educate viewers about the realities of alcohol.
The findings are due to be published in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.