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Study: Teen binge drinking linked to liquor brand mentions in pop songs

 Music artist Sean
Music artist Sean "Diddy" Combs appears as he hosts a party at the Wet Republic pool at the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino September 4, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ethan Miller/Getty Images for MGM Resorts Int

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Listened to music on the radio today? Chances are you’ve heard at least one alcohol brand mentioned.

Brands from Patron to Jack Daniels are regularly name-dropped in songs of all genres. It sure seems, as Lorde says in her smash hit “Royals,” that “every song’s like gold teeth, grey goose, tripping in the bathroom…” But does the popularity of songs about alcohol and drinking influence listeners behavior?

A new study in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research has found a link between teenagers listening to music containing alcohol-brand mentions and their alcohol related behavior.

On average, a teenager in America listens to two and a half hours of pop music a day and hears eight mentions of brand alcohol. Researchers collected information from more than 3,400 males and females between the ages of 15 and 23.

The study found that teens who listened to the most alcohol-brand-mentioning music were twice as likely to have engaged in binge drinking.

How much influence does music have over a teenager’s behavior? Can teens avoid being influenced by the alcohol mentions in their favorite music?


Dr. Brian A. Primack, MD, PhD; Associate Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, and Clinical and Translational Science; Director, Program for Research on Media and Health University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Renee Hobbs, Professor and Founding Director of the Harrington School of Communication and Media at the University of Rhode Island; Leading authority on media literacy education