Alcohol use in television programming: effects on children's behavior

Addict Behav. 1983;8(1):19-22. doi: 10.1016/0306-4603(83)90050-3.


The impact of televised use of alcoholic beverages on children's behavior was evaluated in this study. Children were randomly assigned to one of three experimental conditions: (a) television with drinking depicted, (b) television without drinking, or (c) a no television control condition. Segments of the syndicated television show M.A.S.H. were used as the viewing stimulus. The impact of the various conditions was evaluated in a choice task requiring subjects to choose either martini or regular glasses of either "whiskey" or "water" to serve pictured adults and children. Results indicated that subjects who viewed television drinking were significantly more likely to choose alcoholic beverages for pictured adults but not children. No effect was found for glass preference. Results and implications of these findings and directions for future research are discussed.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking*
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Child
  • Child Behavior*
  • Choice Behavior
  • Humans
  • Television*