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Mass Media, Youth and the Prevention of Substance Abuse: Towards an Integrated Approach (From Childhood and Chemical Abuse: Prevention and Intervention, P 153-180, 1986, Stephanie Griswold-Ezekoye, et al, ed. -- See NCJ-110667)

NCJ Number
L Wallack
Date Published
28 pages
This paper reviews current trends in the use of substances, alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana and examines the role of mass media in all overall integrated approach to future prevention efforts.
It is hypothesized that declining drug use rates among adolescents offer an opportunity to reinforce prevention efforts that focus on the context and conditions of substance use. The author argues that such efforts must address the effects and potential of mass communication. It is suggested that television programming, advertising, and mass media campaigns can be used to change the message environment in which individuals behave. Studies of television portrayals of alcohol, drug, and tobacco use are reviewed, and the effectiveness of using media to change behaviors related to use of these substances is assessed. 'Cooperative consultation,' a four-part process used to study drinking in television programming, is described. It involves content analysis; general education of industry personnel; specific education, such as providing assistance on TV scripts; and feedback. Cooperative consultation is recommended to increase accuracy of portrayals of alcohol, drugs, and smoking in regular television programming. Media efforts should target groups at risk for using, those who might assist in altering the high risk situation, and those who make decisions that affect the lives of others. Tabular data and 61 references.


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