PIRE Publication - Television's Cultivation of American Adolescents' Beliefs about Alcohol and the Moderating Role of Trait Reactance

Cultivation research has shown that heavy television viewing is linked to audiences' generalized, and often skewed, views of reality. This research investigates whether television viewing is related to adolescents' views about the consequences of drinking and whether psychological trait reactance moderates this cultivation effect. Results from a survey of 445 American teenagers show that cumulative exposure to television is linked to reduced beliefs about alcohol's negative consequences and greater intentions to drink. These effects were greater for adolescents low on trait reactance. This research adds to the general psychological research on trait reactance as a moderator of media influences and makes a substantive contribution toward furthering our understanding of the media and public health concerns that surround risky adolescent behaviors.

Russell, Cristel Antonia
Russell, Dale Wesley
Boland, Wendy Attaya
Grube, Joel W.