College Guys Who Reference Alcohol On Facebook Have More Friends [STUDY]

Undergraduate men who often mention or post photos of alcohol have more Facebook friends than those who don’t, according to a study that will soon be published in the American Journal of Men’s Health.
The study combed through the public profiles of 225 male undergraduate students at one university for references to alcohol, including photos that contained an alcoholic drink — not just a cup — and specific textual references. It found that 85.53% of the profiles contained at least one reference to alcohol. On average, they contained 8.5.
Men older than 21 made about 4.5 times as many references to alcohol on their profiles than younger men did. And the number of references a man posted significantly correlated with the number of Facebook friends.
How students reference drinking on Facebook is of interest to those who want to prevent collegiate alcohol abuse. The study cites research published in 2002 that shows the strongest influence of alcohol consumption rates among college students is perceived peer use (which often exceeds actual peer use). Another suggests that media may exceed traditional peer influences for forming peer social norms.
“Our hypothesis is that because alcohol in college students is a predictor of social acceptance, there could be a similar correlation in the social networking world with alcohol references…[posting alcoholic references] might be a mechanism for peer acceptance,” says Katie Egan, who led the research as an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin in 2009.
Photo courtesy of Flickr, Egan Snow
written by Sarah Kessler at


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