Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Content analysis of tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs in popular music

Primack, BA and Dalton, MA and Carroll, MV and Agarwal, AA and Fine, MJ (2008) Content analysis of tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs in popular music. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 162 (2). 169 - 175. ISSN 1072-4710

[img] Plain Text (licence)
Available under License : See the attached license file.

Download (1kB)


Objective: To perform a comprehensive content analysis of substance use in contemporary popular music. Design: We analyzed the 279 most popular songs of 2005 according to Billboard magazine. Two coders working independently used a standardized data collection instrument to code portrayals of substance use. Outcome Measures: Presence and explicit use of substances and motivations for, associations with, and consequences of substance use. Results: Of the 279 songs, 93 (33.3%) portrayed substance use, with an average of 35.2 substance references per song-hour. Portrayal of substance use varied significantly (P <.001) by genre, with 1 or more references in 3 of 35 pop songs (9%), 9 of 66 rock songs (14%), 11 of 55 R&B/hip-hop songs (20%), 22 of 61 country songs (36%), and 48 of 62 rap songs (77%). While only 2.9% of the 279 songs portrayed tobacco use, 23.7% depicted alcohol use, 13.6% depicted marijuana use, and 11.5% depicted other or unspecified substance use. In the 93 songs with substance use, it was most often motivated by peer/social pressure (45 [48%]) or sex (28 [30%]); use was commonly associated with partying (50 [54%]), sex (43 [46%]), violence (27 [29%]), and/or humor (22 [24%]). Only 4 songs (4%) contained explicit antiuse messages, and none portrayed substance refusal. Most songs with substance use (63 [68%]) portrayed more positive than negative consequences; these positive consequences were most commonly social, sexual, financial, or emotional. Conclusions: The average adolescent is exposed to approximately 84 references to explicit substance use daily in popular songs, and this exposure varies widely by musical genre. The substance use depicted in popular music is frequently motivated by peer acceptance and sex, and it has highly positive associations and consequences. ©2008 American Medical Association. All rights reserved.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Primack, BAbprimack@pitt.eduBPRIMACK
Dalton, MA
Carroll, MV
Agarwal, AA
Fine, MJmjf1@pitt.eduMJF10000-0003-3470-9846
Centers: Other Centers, Institutes, Offices, or Units > Center for Research on Media, Technology, and Health
Date: 1 February 2008
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
Volume: 162
Number: 2
Page Range: 169 - 175
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1001/archpediatrics.2007.27
Schools and Programs: School of Medicine > Medicine
School of Nursing > Nursing
School of Medicine > Pediatrics
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1072-4710
MeSH Headings: Alcoholic Beverages; Chi-Square Distribution; Humans; Music; Substance-Related Disorders; Tobacco
Other ID: NLM NIHMS256360, NLM PMC3004676
PubMed Central ID: PMC3004676
PubMed ID: 18250243
Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2014 17:57
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2021 10:55


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item