How many times can you hear gold teeth/Grey Goose/trippin’ in the bathroom before you get a hankering for some vodka? And yes, Lorde may be saying those are things we’ll never have, not being royals and all, but many non-royal adolescents have made do with cheaper alternatives. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 39 percent of adolescents have had a drink in the past 30 days, and 22 percent qualify as binge-drinkers. In a new survey on adolescent binge-drinking published in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, researchers at Dartmouth College and the University of Pittsburgh look at how these tossed-off brand mentions in music could affect young people’s drinking behaviors.
Enough exposure to anything has an effect, and previous research has shown that for adolescents, music is the fastest-growing form of media they’re exposed to, listening to about 2.5 hours a day as of 2010. They hear 14 references to drinking per song-hour, and about 8 brand-name mentions.
The researchers surveyed 2,541 15-to-23-year-olds, offering them 10 random songs that had alcohol mentions in them and asking if they liked the song, owned the song, and if they could identify what brand was mentioned in the song. To assess what role alcohol played in their lives, researchers looked at whether participants had ever drunk a whole drink, if they had ever binged, if they binged monthly, and whether they’d ever experienced injuries or memory loss after drinking.