Text message content as a window into college student drinking: Development and initial validation of a dictionary of “alcohol-talk”

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Michaeline Jensen, Assistant Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: The ubiquity of digital communication within the high-risk drinking environment of college students raises exciting new directions for prevention research. However, we are lacking relevant constructs and tools to analyze digital platforms that serve to facilitate, discuss, and rehash alcohol use. In the current study, we introduce the construct of alcohol-talk (or the extent to which college students use alcohol-related words in text messaging exchanges) as well as introduce and validate a novel tool for measuring this construct. We describe a closed-vocabulary, dictionary-based method for assessing alcohol-talk. Analyses of 569,172 text messages from 267 college students indicate that this method produces a reliable and valid measure that correlates as expected with self-reported alcohol and related risk constructs. We discuss the potential utility of this method for prevention studies.

Additional Information

International Journal of Behavioral Development
Language: English
Date: 2019
Youth/adolescence, alcohol, technology, text analysis, drinking

Email this document to