UNLEASHING THE WILD SELF: EXPLORING MEDIA INFLUENCE AND DRINKING AMONG COLLEGE WOMEN
|Objective: The study examined alcohol consumption among college women ages 18 to 24. It helped to answer who, when, what, why and how much college women drink. It also examined how "girls gone wild" kinds of portrayals influence college women in excessive drinking and "outrageous" behaviors. Theory: A combination of drench hypothesis (Greenberg, 1988) and social cognitive theory (Bandura, 2001) was used as the guiding framework to understand the dynamic relationship of environmental and personal factors in learning and imitating behaviors seen in the media. Method: Two online studies were conducted. The first study was a structured interview conducted with 38 women and 29 men. Study 2 was a survey. A total of 449 college women took part in the survey. Some men (N=174) also took part in the study to provide men's opinions and some perspective on women who drink and behave outrageously. Results: The survey results show that 42% (N=169) of college women in the sample engage in heavy episodic drinking every weekend at house parties. As a result, some have gotten into fights, missed classes, experienced hangovers and vomiting, and have driven drunk. Nearly 14% (N=55) of the women in the study reported being sexually assaulted while they were drunk. In addition, the findings of the study shows that "girls gone wild" kinds of portrayals are perceived in different ways by different college women. Most college women view the behaviors as negative. However, some college women do evaluate the portrayals as positive. These women are likely to engage in similar outrageous behaviors. The "girls gone wild" kinds of portrayals are less likely to influence alcohol consumption among college women. A multiple regression analysis showed that outrageous behavior correlated with self-control, sexual outcome expected, positive evaluation of the "girls gone wild" portrayals and sensation seeking tendencies. Drinking on the other hand correlated only with sensation seeking tendencies and how much value was placed by the respondents on being social. The findings of the study also show that men assess drunken women as vulnerable and "easy." Conclusion: Interventions that include strategies for better self-regulation and explaining of potential negative outcomes are likely to be effective in drinking and drinking-related behaviors. Media literacy programs might help in critical evaluation of media content and thus reduce its negative influence.
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|Theses and Dissertations
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|Health Sciences, Public Health
|Girls Gone Wild
|Social Cognitive Theory
|Women and Alcohol
|UNLEASHING THE WILD SELF: EXPLORING MEDIA INFLUENCE AND DRINKING AMONG COLLEGE WOMEN
|Morris, Nancy, 1953-
|Maynard, Michael L.
|Haignere, Clara S.
|Mass Media and Communication
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