Awareness of, and participation with, user-created alcohol promotion, and the association with higher-risk drinking in young adults

Nathan Critchlow, Crawford Moodie, Linda Bauld, Adrian Bonner, Gerard Hastings


User-created alcohol promotion refers to the content distributed through new media which intends to promote consumption, but independent of commercial digital marketing. This study explores exposure to such user-created alcohol promotion and the association with higher-risk drinking in a sample of young adults in the United Kingdom. An online cross-sectional survey with 18-25 year olds (N = 405) was used to measure awareness of, and participation with, 11 forms of user-created alcohol promotion. Higher-risk drinking was measured through the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test – Consumption (AUDIT-C). On average, participants were aware of 7.48 user-created alcohol promotion channels and had participated with 4.36. A hierarchical logistic regression highlighted a positive association between exposure to user-created alcohol promotion and higher-risk consumption, with participation (AOR = 1.64) having a stronger association with higher-risk consumption than awareness (AOR = 1.19). The results suggest that young adults are aware of, and participating with, a cumulative range of user-created alcohol promotion, both within and beyond social media. Further research is required to understand whether this association with higher-risk drinking is causal, the links between user-created alcohol promotion and commercial marketing, and the wider utility of user-created content to influence health behaviours in young adults.

Bibliographic citation

Critchlow, N., Moodie, C., Bauld, L., Bonner, A., & Hastings, G. (2017). Awareness of, and participation with, user-created alcohol promotion, and the association with higher-risk drinking in young adults. Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace, 11(2), article 4. doi:


Alcohol; users-created promotion; consumption; higher-risk drinking; young adults

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