Associations between Electronic Media Use and Involvement in Violence, Alcohol and Drug Use among United States High School Students.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA.
The western journal of emergency medicine 07/2011; 12(3):310-5.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We identified associations between time spent watching television and time spent playing video or computer games or using computers and involvement in interpersonal violence, alcohol and drug use in a nationally representative sample of United States high school students.
We analyzed data from the 2007 national Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Exposure variables were time spent watching television and time spent playing computer or video games or using computers (hereafter denoted as "computer/video game use") on an average school day; outcome variables included multiple measures assessing involvement in violence and alcohol or drug use. Chi-square tests were used to identify statistically significant associations between each exposure variable and each of the outcome variables. We used logistic regression to obtain crude odds ratios for outcome variables with a significant chi-square p-value and to obtain adjusted odds ratios controlling for sex, race, and grade in school.
Overall, 35.4% (95% CI=33.1%-37.7%) of students reported frequent television (TV) use and 24.9% (95% CI=22.9%-27.0%) reported frequent computer/video game use. A number of risk behaviors, including involvement in physical fights and initiation of alcohol use before age 13, were significantly associated with frequent TV use or frequent computer/video game use, even after controlling for sex, race/ethnicity and grade.
Findings highlight the need for additional research to better understand the mechanisms by which electronic media exposure and health-risk behaviors are associated and for the development of strategies that seek to understand how the content and context (e.g., watching with peers, having computer in common area) of media use influence risk behaviors among youth.

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    The western journal of emergency medicine 07/2011; 12(3):268-70.
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    ABSTRACT: The present study aims to investigate the longitudinal impact of situational Internet use on future cigarette smoking and alcohol use among male and female adolescents. A Northern Taiwanese cohort sample of adolescents with no prior use of cigarettes (n=1445) or alcohol (n=1468) was surveyed at age 16 and again 4years later. Information regarding where, why, and length of time spent using the Internet was gathered from the 16-year-old participants. Outcome information regarding cigarette/alcohol use was gathered via a follow-up questionnaire at age 20. Multivariate regressions were used to incorporate peer, individual and family characteristics as measured at age 16 and create models of future cigarette and alcohol use at age 20. The analyses demonstrated that adolescent Internet use, particularly where such use took place, has a significant impact on future cigarette smoking and alcohol use, adjusted for conventional factors, and its relationship differs significantly by gender. Female adolescents with Internet café use appear to be especially likely to develop these two risky behaviors. The why of Internet use is also a predictor of future cigarette smoking. Finally, time spent using the Internet is significantly related to alcohol use; greater use of the Internet is associated with higher levels of drinking. The results revealed that different risky behaviors are differentially influenced by separate components of adolescent Internet use. These findings suggest that programs aimed at promoting adolescent health could potentially benefit Taiwanese adolescents by including components related to situational Internet use and taking gender into consideration.
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