Study: Alcohol Brands in Music May Cause Adolescents to Drink


“Blame it on the Goose, got you feelin’ loose/Blame it on Patron, got you in the zone/Blame it on the al-al-al-alcohol.”

Jamie Foxx’s Billboard topping single, “Blame It” might just be one of the songs researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine were talking about in a new study published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

“Every year, the average adolescent is exposed to about 3,000 alcohol brands while listening to music,” says study researcher Dr. Brian A. Primack, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of medicine and pediatrics and director of the Program for Research on Media and Health at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. “It is important that we understand the impact of these references to alcohol brands in an age group that can be negatively impacted by alcohol consumption.”

Primack’s study sought to determine whether there was a correlation between references to alcohol brands in rap songs and adolescent listener consumption of alcohol.

Researchers surveyed 2,541 participants ages 15 to 23 on their liking and enjoying songs which contained references to alcohol brands and whether the participant could recall the brand referenced in the song. The researchers then surveyed the extent of the participants’ drinking habits.

The researchers found that a correlation existed between the participant’s ability to recall alcohol brands from rap songs and alcohol consumption. Those who could recall at least one alcohol brand were twice as likely to have consumed a complete alcohol drink than those who could not recall an alcohol brand. There was also a correlation between recalling an alcohol brand and participation in binge drinking.

While the study tends to show that a correlation may exist between a music listener’s ability to recall alcohol brands dropped in lyrics and drinking, it does not show that alcohol brands in songs causes drinking in adolescents.

Nonetheless, the study may show that adolescents are influenced by what they hear in music. But, needless to say, we can’t just blame things on alcohol as Jamie Foxx suggests, especially when it comes to a California DUI charge.

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