Social Media Expressions of Risky Health Behaviors

Emma S. Spiro (PI), Melissa Lewis (PI), Data Litt (PI)

With most (90%) young adults (YAs) on social networking sites (SNS) (Pew Research Center, 2014), YAs can quickly and widely send, receive, and access information (Boyd & Ellison, 2007). Up to 85% of YA Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter profiles include alcohol-related content (e.g., Cavazos-Rehg et al., 2015; Litt et al., 2015; Moreno et al., 2007, 2009); thus, YAs are sharing and exposed to alcohol content on SNS. Alcohol displays on SNS are associated with YA high-risk drinking cognitions and problem drinking (e.g., Fournier et al., 2013; Glassman, 2012; Lewis et al., 2016; Litt & Stock, 2011; Moreno et al., 2012; Teunnisen et al., 2014). With these multiple modes of communication about alcohol, SNS are influential risk-conducive (online) environments that allow for YA alcohol displays, which impact drinking cognitions and alcohol use. In this project we focus on offline (i.e., not internet-based) and online (i.e., specific to SNS) modes of social influence for YA alcohol use.


(2016). Research opportunities at the intersection of social media and survey data collection. Current Opinion in Psychology, Special Issue on Social Media & Applications to Health Behavior.

PDF Project