Cultivation theory, which is the theoretical foundation for many studies examining media effects, asserts that prolonged exposure to problematic attitudes cultivates acceptance of said attitudes (Gerbner, Gross, Morgan, Signorielli & Shanahan, 2002). Beyond the cultivation of attitudes through lyrical and visual content, common explanations for the association between substance use references in media and perceived substance use risk include sensation-seeking (Arnett, 1991; Weisskirch & Murphy, 2004; Oberle & Garcia, 2015), peer substance use (Mulder et al., 2010), and the effects of mainstream and non-mainstream music genres (ter Bogt et al., 2012; Mulder et al., 2009). This study utilized an experimental design which examined the effect of substance use references in mainstream (pop) music compared to three proposed non-mainstream genres (reggae, electronic dance music [EDM], and psytrance [psychedelic-trance]) on participants’ perceived substance use risk (PSUR). Higher levels of reported recent substance use were moderately and significantly associated with lower levels of PSUR (r (836) = -.36, p < .001). Recent substance use, group, substance use priming, age, race, and sex significantly impacted PSUR (F (5, 799) = 25.04, p < .05), explaining roughly 12% more of the variance (R2 = .135) than models not including recent substance use as a predictor. While exposure to mainstream and nonmainstream genres did not result in significant differences in participants’ PSUR, there was a statistically significant difference in substance use priming between groups. Liking particular music genres was also still associated with higher levels of recent substance use, as previous studies have shown (Chen, Miller, Grube & Waiters, 2006; Mulder et al., 2009; ter Bogt et al., 2012; Forsyth, Barnard & McKeganey, 1997).
Saunders, W. Steven
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Langer, James R., "Perceived Substance Use Risk After Exposure to Substance Use References in Music Videos" (2019). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 626.