Flashcards in Media influneces on addictive behaviour Deck (13):
argues that the media are rich in lay beliefs about substance use and abuse. For example in the 1990s trainspotting revealed the world of a heroin addict and although it was dark and disturbing, it was highly appealing due to its fascination.
Sulkunen collected 140 scenes from 47 films, which included addiction, alcohol, drugs, tobacco, gambling, and sex. These were then analysed for ‘addiction’ which left 61 scenes. He found in drug scenes, it was portrayed as enjoyment and was often compared to dull everyday life. He also found they were used to sort a particular problem. For example in ‘human traffic’ ecstasy was used as a way of resolving a relationship.
Media influencing smoking
Waylen et al (2011) examined 360 of the top US box office films released between 2001 and 2005, they found that even after controlling social factors, teenagers who watched films where the actors smoked were also more likely to take on smoking.
Film representations: research support
Sargent and Hanewinkel (2009) testes whether adolescents exposure to smoking in the movies influenced their initiation into smoking. They surveyed 4384 adolescents aged 11-15 who were surveyed again a year later. They found ps who had not smoked with the 1st survey, smoking movies were a strong prediction to whether they smoked in the 2nd survey.
Negative representations in the media
Boyd (2008) argues that due to US film creators been given financial incentives to do so, many films do show the negative effects of drug use. For example messy hair, an increase in problems, moral decline, crime, sexual degradation.
The importance of representations in the media
Bryne (1997) argues that films such as trainspotting are important because they provide a stereotype. He draws a parallel with the fact when people think of ECT it often comes from the 1975 film ‘one flew over the cuckoo’s nest’.
Ethical guidelines of representation
in the US the office for substance abuse protection has developed guide line materials for writers. All writers should communicate that drug use is ‘unhealthy and harmful’, addiction should be presented as a disease, and abstinence is the ‘viable choice for everyone’.
Creativity with drugs
Belli (2009) argues that drug use in the media can in fact cause creativity. Brain Wilson, lead in the beach boys, stated how cannabis and then LSD were huge influences in his creative music. However he then became addicted to cocaine and his music stopped. This also shows how been part of a competitive media can drive people to experiment with drugs.
How could the media help change addictive behaviour?
Treatment into addiction is often impaired by a lack of professionals available, and a lack of motivation from clients to attend the sessions. This has therefore prompted research into how the media can be used to help tackle addiction.
television series ‘psst…the really useful guide to alcohol (6x 30 min instalments on the BBC, 1989) was evaluated by Bennett (1991). Viewers were compared with match control who didn’t watch the series. Although they showed more knowledge, they didn’t show any change in attitude or behaviour.
Kramer et al (2009) assessed ‘Drinking less? Do it yourself!’ a 5 week television self-help intervention. The results showed that they were much more successful than a control group in achieving low-risk alcohol consumption. This was also maintained in a 3 month follow up.
Anti- drug campaigns
in 2008 a UK campaign was launched to warn teenagers on drug use. It featured a fictional dog called Pablo who was used to carry drugs. The dog then went to see what had happened to the people who used the drugs, for example a woman who had a heart attack.
Problems with Kramers study
one problem is that the intervention group received weekly visits from the researchers so extra attention could have contributed to the success. Second, the waiting list group were aware that they could receive treatment soon and therefore could have postponed any behaviour change; artificially inflating the magnitude of the difference between the 2 groups.
Us drug campaign
between 1998 and 2004 the US Congress invested $1 billion in a US National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign. It had 3 goals:
1) Educate and enable youth to reject illegal drugs
2) Prevent youths from initiating the use of drugs
3) Convince occasional users to stop
This was done through television, radio, magazines, and the internet.
Hornik et al (2008) found that the campaign didn’t actually achieve its goals and instead increased marijuana use.