Drinking to Cope During COVID-19 Pandemic

-Alcohol consumption to cope with COVID-19 stress/boredom may be associated with social networking site (SNS) use. Seeing a same-age peer posting about COVID-19 related drinking may lead to a normalization of the behavior, leading an individual to engage in such SNS posting themselves and to greater alcohol consumption, according to the peer-reviewed journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. Click here to read the article now.

Dana Litt, University of North Texas Health Science Center, School of Public Health, and coauthors found that believing that same-age peers posted about COVID-19 related alcohol use on SNS was associated with more than 10-fold increased odds of having posted about alcohol use related to COVID-19 oneself. The researchers also reported that perceiving that peers posted alcohol-related COVID-19 content on SNS was significantly associated with greater drinking to cope with COVID-19.

“Our findings indicate that targeting descriptive norms for alcohol-related posting during COVID-19 in brief interventions has the potential to reduce both subsequent posting and drinking to cope among adults in the United States,” said the authors. Because of the network-based nature of SNS, such an intervention could, in turn, reduce risky alcohol use among the individual’s online SNS peer networks, and in turn their peers’ networks.”

“Stress, anxiety, and uncertainty are all potential triggers for increased alcohol use. As social media use has risen, we have also seen innovative social media interventions delivered across platforms, such as Facebook, to tackle weight loss, smoking cessation, and reduction of alcohol consumption. These more easily accessible programs may have a significant public health impact on positively altering individual behavior,” says Editor-in-Chief Brenda K. Wiederhold, PhD, MBA, BCB, BCN, Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, California and Virtual Reality Medical Institute, Brussels, Belgium.

About the Journal

Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking is an authoritative peer-reviewed journal published monthly online with Open Access options and in print that explores the psychological and social issues surrounding the Internet and interactive technologies. Complete tables of contents and a sample issue may be viewed on the Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking website.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science, medicine, and law. A complete list of the firm’s more than 100 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.

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