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The Influence Of Mass Media In Relation To Adolescent Smoking And Drinking Behaviours

632 words - 3 pages

This investigation applied the concept of influence – specifically the influence of mass media – to the topic of adolescent drug use.

Influence as a topic has met with considerable interest among social scientists, particularly psychologists, who generally perceive influence as being the ability to drive the behaviour of another individual to a particular outcome. Inextricably intertwined with the concept of power, influence often involves intangibly affecting the behaviour, character, opinions or beliefs of an individual, without directly commanding or exerting force in order for this change to happen (*). An individual is subject to many different forms of influence throughout their ...view middle of the document...

Mass media "is the power that shapes and moulds the mind of virtually every citizen, young or old, rich or poor, simple or sophisticated" (Sweet Liberty, 2000). However, it seems reasonable to assume that young people are influenced most extremely by the information they are exposed to in mass media, as according to Werner-Wilson, Morrissey and Fitzharris (2004), “adolescents are vigorous users of the information broadcasted in media”, often using multiple media simultaneously, for an average of six hours and twenty-one minutes each day (Roberts et al, 2005).

For completion of graded unit project, the researcher investigated the role of mass media in influencing illegal drug use among adolescents (teenagers). It is generally accepted that the causes of adolescent drug use are multi-factorial, involving a number of psychological, social and biological factors (Lowe, 1995). However, mass media has been identified as a possible source of influence, with illegal drug use featuring prominently in the media gaze. The researcher explored the potential...

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