Population-Based Assessment of Exposure to Risk Behaviors in Motion Pictures

Commun Methods Meas. 2008 Jan;2(1-2):134-151. doi: 10.1080/19312450802063404.


The aim of most population-based studies of media is to relate a specific exposure to an outcome of interest. A research program has been developed that evaluates exposure to different components of movies in an attempt of assess the association of such exposure with the adoption of substance use during adolescence. To assess exposure to movie substance use, one must measure both viewing time and content. In developing the exposure measure, the study team was interested in circumventing a common problem in exposure measurement, where measures often conflate exposure to media with attention to media. Our aim in this paper is to present a validated measure of exposure to entertainment media, the Beach method, which combines recognition of a movie title with content analysis of the movie for substance use, to generate population based measures of exposure to substance use in this form of entertainment.