OBJECTIVES: To investigate whether exposure to alcohol use in films (AUFs) is associated with early alcohol use, binge drinking, and alcohol-related problems in British adolescents.
METHODS: Cross-sectional study with 5163 15-year-olds from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children in the United Kingdom. We measured adolescent exposure to AUFs, age at onset of alcohol use, and binge-drinking behavior. We adjusted for early childhood social, family and behavioral factors, adolescent tobacco use, and peer drinking.
RESULTS: After adjustment, adolescents with the highest exposure to AUFs were 1.2 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.1-1.3) times more likely to have tried alcohol compared with those least exposed and 1.7 (95% CI: 1.5-2.0) times more likely to binge drink. They were 2.4 (95% CI: 1.9-3.1) times more likely to drink weekly and 2.0 (95% CI: 1.7-2.4) times more likely to have alcohol-related problems than those least exposed.
CONCLUSIONS: Exposure to AUFs is associated with higher risk of alcohol use and alcohol-related problems in UK adolescents. Our findings provide evidence to support the argument that a review of film-rating categories and alcohol ratings for all films may help reduce problem-related alcohol consumption in young people.