Date of Award


Degree Type

Restricted Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Public Health

Field of Study

Health Management and Policy


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Kristine Lykens

Second Advisor

James Quinn

Third Advisor

Diasha Cipher


Miller, Vanessa G., The Effects of Media Exposure on Alcohol Consumption Patterns within the African American Population. Doctor of Public Health (Health Management and Policy), May 2005, 206 pp., 62 tables, 8 illustrations, references, 77 titles. Objectives- The study examined the role of media exposure on alcohol consumption patterns in the African American population. In studying the role of media exposure, the study also examined the role of ethnicity, mood/affect, socio-demographic factors and religion on alcohol consumption patterns in this population. Methods- Secondary analysis of the General Social Survey (GSS), 1972-2002 cumulative data file was used to provide quantitative estimates of the relationship between media exposure, ethnicity, mood/affect, socio-demographic factors, and religiosity as predictors of alcohol consumption. Path analysis was used to determine the direct and indirect effects of these concepts on alcohol consumption patterns. Results- Watching television and reading the newspaper were significant predictors of alcohol use. Watching television had a positive effect on alcohol use; but only in the absence of religiosity. When religiosity was present, as indicated by religious affiliation and attendance at religious services, watching television had a significant negative effect on alcohol use. Reading the newspaper had a negative effect on alcohol use; but this effect was not very significant. Watching TV also had a significant positive effect on alcohol abuse. Reading the newspaper had an effect on alcohol abuse but this effect was not significant. IN the presence of religiosity, neither watching TV nor reading the newspaper had a significant effect on alcohol abuse. The effects of religiosity could also be seen on the relationships between alcohol consumption and socializing patterns, age, sex, ethnicity, and income. The year of the GSS survey had a significant positive effect of television viewing and a significant negative effect on reading the newspaper. Race did not have a significant effect on alcohol use or abuse. Conclusion- This research has significant policy implications, as it indicates that exposure to media, thus exposure to advertising, had an effect on alcohol consumption. Religiosity appeared to act as a protective mechanism against the adverse effects of media exposure, as they relate to alcohol consumption. This research provides support for the implementation of more faith-based initiatives to combat substance abuse (especially alcohol abuse). It also sets the foundation for additional research on the effects of advertising on alcohol consumption, looking at the media revolution of the 21st century.