BEHS 364 Social Media Campaign Proposal – Paper
BEHS 364 Social Media Campaign Proposal – Paper
Alcohol consumption among youths shows a worrying trend because of the increasing prevalence of alcohol use by adolescents and young adults. The adolescent period is characterized by peer pressure, erratic behaviors, and a tendency to experiment, which makes the outcomes of alcohol consumption within this group even more lethal because of the associated behaviors. For example, intoxicated teenagers or youths engage in dangerous driving, fights, and other risky behaviors that can cause injury or death. Furthermore, alcohol consumption in adolescent is likely to persist into adulthood making the problem works not to mention the negative impact on academics, employment, and family relationships. Most youths engage in alcohol consumption as peer pressure with limited knowledge of the impact and long-term consequences. A social media campaign would be an effective opportunity to engage the population on the risks of alcohol consumption and persuade behavioral change. Youths have a higher rate of engagement with social media sites than any age group; hence, the campaign is likely to have a wide reach within the target population. The purpose of this proposal is to present a social media campaign that would be effective for addressing alcohol consumption among adolescents and the rationale for its effectiveness.
The Problem of Alcohol Consumption among Youths
Alcohol abuse is persistent in society and is affecting more and more youths, which starts as a result of peer pressure and end up being problematic because of its addictive nature. Alcohol consumption and abuse among youths are associated with several short-term and long-term problems. First, alcohol use and abuse among youths have physiological and mental health consequences. For instance, prolonged alcohol use exposes a person to the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, liver disease, weakened immunity, high blood pressure, digestive problems and a range of cancers including cancer of the throat. Similarly, in adolescence, the brain is still developing and alcohol use can negatively impact this development by causing brain injury with lifelong effects. Alcohol use also impacts mental health increasing the risk of depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, and personality disorders (NIH, 2021).
Secondly, alcohol use among youths has behavioral and academic performance consequences. For example, alcohol abuse is associated with binge drinking, risky sex, and drunk driving which have severe consequences. Alcohol use is responsible for a significant number of drug-related and alcohol-associated harms because of the tendency for erratic behaviors. Data shows that 29 teenage drivers perished in 2016 on the highways of Victoria while 62% of drunk youth drivers caused collisions. Likewise, alcohol use among youth leads to poor academic outcomes. According to Patte et al. (2018), initiating binge drinking in youths is likely to lead to poor academic performance and engagement, translating to lower chances of attaining academic goals. Similarly, a study by Manish et al. (2020) showed that alcohol consumption among youths had a direct link to poor academic performance. Finally, alcohol consumption in youth is likely to continue into adulthood with immense negative implications including long-term mental health problems, financial difficulties, and family disputes in addition to poor physical health and quality of life outcomes.
Youth drinking often begins in adolescence and the likelihood of drinking increases with age. Youth drinking between the age of 12 and 20 years is responsible for 4% of total alcohol consumption in the country. In the last year, 7.0 million youths aged 12-20 years cited having used alcohol more than just tasting in the past 12 months (NIH, 2021). Similarly, in the 2019 survey, 24.6% of 14- to 15-year-olds indicated that they had at least one drink in the past 12 months (NIH, 2021). Likewise, the Youth Risky Behavior Survey for 2019 also showed that 29% of high school students drank alcohol in the past 30 days, 14% engaged in binge drinking, 5% were drunk drivers, and 17% rod with someone who was intoxicated (CDC, 2022).
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Regarding ethnic racial trends in youth alcohol consumption, Blacks who are 18 years are less likely to drink compared to White and Hispanic youths. Nevertheless, different trends are noted at age 14 as all youths tend to drink alcohol regardless of their racial or ethnic affiliation (NIH, 2021). Youths normally consume alcohol through binge drinking, 90% of alcohol is consumed through this means. 2019 survey shows that 4.2 million youths admitted to engaging in binge drinking in the past month (CDC, 2022). Surprisingly, girls had a higher tendency for drinking in 2019 compared to boys, contrary to the common perception that boys are more likely to engage in such deviant behaviors as alcohol consumption. Concerning the consequence of drinking in adulthood, studies show that youth alcohol consumption increases the likelihood of drinking in adulthood by 12%. At the same time,5% of adults with a history of youth alcohol are likely to binge drink in adulthood (NIH, 2021).
The first evidence-based practice is Family Check-up, which is a family-centered program that enables families to build strong relationships. The intervention support parents with skills and resources to enable them to manage their children’s behaviors. The target population for the program are adolescents with academic, behavioral, and emotional problems. The program seeks to address factors that increase the risk of alcohol consumption among adolescents and youths such as coercive parenting and adjustment and socialization problems among adolescents (Sánchez-Puertas et al., 2022). On the other hand, the program promotes a strong parent-adolescent relationship, parents’ monitoring of their children’s behavior, healthy dispute settling approaches between parent-child, and parental support for adolescent positive behaviors.
The second evidence-based program used in the youth population is the Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students Program. The screening program is a harm reduction approach for college students who drink heavily and show signs of alcohol-related problems. The program has 2 individual interviews and a brief survey that evaluates the drinking patterns of a student. The rationale behind the BASICS program is that some people may be drinking but unaware of the consequences of their actions or the risk of developing addiction (Jiloha, 2018). Others recognize they have a problem but are reluctant to take action. Hence, the program aims to influence behavioral change including personal beliefs that encourage risky behavior (Greene et al., 2018).
The third intervention program is Community Mobilizing for Change on Alcohol, which targets youths aged 15-20 years. The program works by adjusting the policies, attitudes, and practices of the community to reduce access to alcohol by the target population. The program ensures that alcohol is not available both in commercial and non-commercial settings. The program typically involves the identification of the needs of the community, developing strategies to address the needs, and raising awareness of the changes through a partnership with the media (Louie et al., 2020). The program eliminates social norms that encourage underage drinking and tighten the enforcement of legal sanctions against underage drinking.
Social Media Platform: Instagram
Social media sites are fast growing providing a great opportunity to reach a large number of people at the same time. Moreover, youths spend more than half a day on social media, making it the best medium to engage them in health campaigns and promotion activities. The social media campaign will use Instagram as the platform for the campaign, Instagram is a social networking site that enables sharing of videos and photos, as well as the exchange of messages and other forms of socialization. According to a survey, 9 out of 10 teenagers use social media platforms and cite Instagram as the most popular site among teenagers and young adults (Hendricks et al., 2020). Hence, Instagram provides an excellent chance of reaching a larger population of youths.
While social media is useful for socialization and learning, it can also influence unhealthy behavior in youths. For example, studies show that alcohol-related posts such as other young people posting their drinking or posts from influencers, encourage drinking behaviors (Hendriks et al., 2020). Moreover, such posts are likely to instigate early drinking in adolescents. Young people are exposed to millions of advertisements and content on alcohol and research shows that they influence not only the early start but also binge drinking (Hendriks et al., 2020). Alcohol brands circumvent the restrictions on advertising alcohol to minors using social media sites. Moreover, the influencers have a great effect on youths who believe in them and consider them their idols, leading to a high tendency of copying what the influencers do.
As such, the proposal for this social media campaign is to prohibit sharing of videos and photographs depicting drug and alcohol use, and other violent acts that influence youths to engage in high-risk behaviors. Similarly, the campaign will seek age restrictions for some content on the Instagram platform. Reducing exposure to contents that encourage alcohol consumption will be significant in limiting early start in alcohol use (Das et al., 2018). Additionally, the campaign seeks to promote harm reduction associated with binge drinking.
One of the strategies for health promotion will be the Health Promotion Model (HPM), which focuses on influencing change in behaviors and lifestyle. The HPM is based on the notion that the experiences of individuals influence their health behavior. According to the model, positive health is dynamic and refers to holistic well-being rather than merely the absence of a health condition (Sánchez-Puertas et al., 2022). The HPM shows that the factors that influence health promotion are physical environment and interpersonal factors. As such an individual has an active role in shaping their behavior by shaping their environment to promote positive health behaviors. The model will be used for health promotion among youth by exploring behavior-specific cognitions, individual characteristics and experiences, and behavioral outcomes (Thompson et al., 2020). Moreover, the strategy will explore the dangers and benefits of alcohol consumption to enable the youths to understand the consequences of drinking and persuade them to change behavior.
The second health promotion strategy would be the Ottawa Charter for health promotion, which defines health promotion as a state of having control over one’s health choices to improve health outcomes (Thompson et al., 2018). The Ottawa Charter is based on principles that can encourage health promotion in youths such as realizing aspirations, satisfying needs, and the ability to cope with changes in the environment. Realizing these elements takes one to a status of physical and mental health. The program equips youths with information and health-enhancing skills that enable them to build healthy behavior by controlling their health choices.
The success of the campaign will be monitored in two ways: measuring the number of people reached and evaluating using the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle. Evaluation of reach will use the Instagram Analytics feature, which is available with every Instagram campaign. The feature will reveal the number of shares, interactions, accounts reached by the campaign, and followers who have liked or reacted to the campaign. The analytics also provides details about the group reached by the campaign, which will be important to know whether the target group has been reached successfully. Secondly, the campaign program will use the PDCA tool, which evaluates initiatives to determine whether the objectives are being met that make the program successful (Ma et al., 2022).
Alcohol use among youths is problematic because of the negative impact on health, academic performance, and overall health outcomes. More and more youths are using alcohol as evidenced by the statistics with a high tendency to engage in binge drinking. Youths consume alcohol because of peer pressure and advertisements that make alcohol consumption appear prestigious. Social media is an important platform that engages youths in various initiatives apart from socializing. The project proposes using an Instagram campaign to share information on the dangers of alcohol consumption among youths and calls for a restriction on sharing photos and videos that uphold alcohol consumption as acceptable behavior by youths. Instagram is the best choice because it is more popular among youths for photos and video sharing.
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