274366 Use of social networking sites during alcohol drinking events: Implications for preventing impaired driving

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 12:50 PM - 1:10 PM

Jennifer M. Whitehill, PhD , Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Megan A. Pumper, BA , Department of Pediatrics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
Megan A. Moreno, MD, MSEd, MPH , Department of Pediatrics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
Background/Purpose: Young adults have high rates of binge drinking and alcohol-related crashes. They are also frequent users of social networking sites (SNS) which could provide new resources for safe transportation when drinking. This study measured use of the most popular SNS (Facebook and Twitter) during drinking, whether SNS use varies by drinking intensity, and whether SNS are used to plan transportation. Methods: Data was collected during a street festival known for high alcohol consumption. Eligibility depended on self-reported age between 18-23 years. A brief survey ascertained gender, time of first drink, number of drinks, any SNS use, and SNS use for planning transportation that day. Chi-squared, Fisher's exact, and t-tests were used to assess differences in SNS use by gender and binge drinking (>4 drinks/2 hours for females; >5 drinks/2 hours for males). Results: Of the sample (N=201), 98% consumed alcohol, 49% were female, 32% used any SNS, and 18% were binge drinkers. Participants, on average, had been drinking for 5 hours (SD=2.4) and consumed 7.4 drinks (SD=4.6). Facebook use (23%) was more prevalent than Twitter use (18%) and was higher among females (31%) than males (15%) (p=0.008). Binge drinkers (40%) were more likely to use Facebook compared to non-binge drinkers (19%) (p=0.007). Use of SNS for transportation planning was 3% overall and 11% among binge drinkers. Conclusion: Nearly one-third of young adults used SNS while drinking; binge drinkers used Facebook more than non-binge drinkers. SNS may have the potential to facilitate connections to safe ride services or other resources.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe rates of social networking site use by young adults during alcohol consumption. 2. Explain differences in SNS use for transportation planning by intensity of alcohol consumption.

Keywords: Alcohol, Motor Vehicles

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I helped design this study. I conduced the data management, analysis, interpretation, and writing of the abstract.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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