From Animal House to Old School: a multiple mediation analysis of the association between college drinking movie exposure and freshman drinking and its consequences

Addict Behav. 2012 Aug;37(8):922-30. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2012.03.030. Epub 2012 Apr 1.


Does exposure to college drinking movies impact upon subsequent college student drinking? If so, what mechanisms mediate such an effect? In the first study to address these questions, we assessed college drinking movie exposure in a sample of 479 college freshmen early in their first semester and examined its relation to subsequent drinking and drinking consequences one month later. Hypothesized mediators of this effect included college alcohol beliefs (beliefs that drinking is central to college life), positive and negative alcohol expectancies, and descriptive and injunctive norms. Using bootstrapping procedures, results indicated that movie exposure exerted direct effects on both drinking and drinking consequences. Movie exposure also had significant indirect effects on drinking through all of the hypothesized mediators, with the exception of negative alcohol expectancies. All mediated movie exposure's effects on drinking consequences, with the exception of injunctive norms. Contrast analyses revealed that college alcohol beliefs had the strongest mediational effects in the relationship between movie exposure and both drinking and consequences. The implications of these findings for precollege alcohol education programs are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motion Pictures*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Self Report
  • Social Environment*
  • Social Facilitation*
  • Students / psychology*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Universities
  • Young Adult