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Health Commun. 2011 Jan;26(1):94-103. doi: 10.1080/10410236.2011.527625.

Teens' attention to crime and emergency programs on television as a predictor and mediator of increased risk perceptions regarding alcohol-related injuries.

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School of Communication, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210-1339, USA.


This study examined the hypotheses that media exposure and attention would predict, and partially mediate, the effects of various individual-difference variables on alcohol-related risk perceptions among teen viewers of crime and emergency (e.g., medical drama) shows on television. Risk perceptions including perceived severity, perceived alcohol-attributable fraction of incidents involving alcohol, controllability, and concern regarding alcohol-related crime, assaults, and other injuries were the outcome measures. Attention to crime and emergency shows was predictive of increased concern and other risk perceptions regarding alcohol-related incidents. Attention also partially mediated the effects of demographic and other individual difference variables on adolescents' risk perceptions regarding alcohol-related injuries. The findings (a) suggest emergency and medical drama television narratives can at times have incidental positive impacts on health-related attitudes and (b) provide further evidence regarding the endogenous nature of media use variables in influencing such attitudes.

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