Examining the effects of mass media campaign exposure and interpersonal discussions on youth's drug use: the mediating role of visiting pro-drug websites

Health Commun. 2013;28(5):473-85. doi: 10.1080/10410236.2012.699873. Epub 2012 Jul 20.


To extend past research on interpersonal communication and campaign effects, we hypothesized that anti-drug mass media campaign message exposure indirectly affects visiting anti- and pro-drug websites through targeted parent-child and friend-to-friend communication against drugs, as well as through having drug-related discussions during organized group activities. Second, we posited that engaging in anti-drug interpersonal communication indirectly affects adolescents' drug use through two intervening variables: visiting anti-drug websites and visiting pro-drug websites. Using self-reported longitudinal data from 2,749 youth, we found that as youth reported higher levels of anti-drug mass media campaign message exposure, they were more likely to talk to friends about the bad consequences of drugs, how to avoid drugs, and anti-drug ads. In turn, however, they were more likely to visit pro-drug websites, and subsequently, to smoke cigarettes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Female
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Mass Media*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires