The Role of Sensation Seeking and R-rated Movie Watching in Early Substance Use Initiation
Adolescence is a time of heightened impulsivity as well as substantial exposure to the effects of popular media. Specifically, R-rated movie content and sensation seeking have been shown to be individually and multiplicatively associated with early alcohol initiation, as well as to mutually influence one another over time. The present study attempts to replicate and extend these findings to cigarette and marijuana use, considering several peer, parental, and individual correlates, as well as substance-specific movie exposure, among 1023 youth (mean age 12.4 years, 52% female), using a combination of cross-lagged path models, latent growth models, and discrete-time survival models. Changes over time were associated between R-rated movie watching and sensation seeking, and both individually, not multiplicatively, predicted earlier alcohol initiation. R-rated movie watching (but not sensation seeking) also predicted earlier smoking and marijuana initiation. Parental R-rated movie restriction may thus potentially delay smoking and marijuana initiation as well as adolescent drinking.
KeywordsR-rated movies Alcohol use Sensation seeking Smoking Marijuana use Adolescents
Authors are Tim Janssen, Melissa J. Cox, Mike Stoolmiller, Nancy P. Barnett, and Kristina M. Jackson. T.J., M.C., M.S., N.B., and K.J. have each made a substantial contribution to the conception, design, gathering, analysis, or interpretation of data and a contribution to the writing and intellectual content of the article. All authors have read and approved the final manuscript for submission.
This study was supported by grants R01 AA016838 (PI: Jackson), K02 AA13938 (PI: Jackson), and T32 AA007459 (PI: Monti) from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and R01 CA01077026 from the National Cancer Institute.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed assent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study, and informed consent was obtained from their parents.
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