Content Analysis of Twitter Data of College Students on Alcohol Consumption
Background: Alcohol use has become a serious threat for college students who show the highest rates of binge drinking, alcohol abuse, and alcohol dependence in the United States. Globally, alcohol misuse is a prominent concern for college students, which could have negative impacts on these students physically and psychologically including poorer academic and memory performance and more memory blackouts, higher unemployment rates, more sexual risk behaviours, and higher tendency of mental illness. However, little research has included the impacts from the most basic needs aspect – safety. And few researchers have considered using social media app as the research instrument with the prevalence of social media usage.
Objectives: This study aims to determine the frequency of Tweets on news related to college students’ alcohol use, the typical effects of alcohol consumption on college students expressed in news, and the general attitude towards college students’ alcohol use.
Methods: A manual content analysis was used to explore the mentioned effects and the general attitude of tweets of news on this topic collected by key word search method.
Results: The study found that people shared news of the topic approximately twice a month, indicating a low awareness and concern level of public on college students’ alcohol consumption. Among seven types of effects mentioned in tweets, sexual risk was referred to most often. Moreover, people expressed a negative attitude towards college students’ alcohol use generally except a few who did not give any opinion on this topic.
Conclusion: This study was among the first attempts to employ Twitter as the analysis instrument in the area of college students’ alcohol consumption. Practically, this study may provide college administrators with functional materials to deconstruct the negative impact of alcohol on campus.
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