Do alcohol expectancy outcomes and valuations mediate peer influences and lifetime alcohol use among early adolescents?

Byron L. Zamboanga, Seth J. Schwartz, Lindsay S. Ham, Lorna Hernandez Jarvis, Janine V. Olthuis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

Building on the theory of reasoned action (I. Ajzen & M. Fishbein, 1973, 1980; M. Fishbein & I. Ajzen, 1975) and expectancy theory, the authors examined the mediating role of alcohol expectancies in adolescent drinking behaviors by testing whether alcohol expectancy outcomes and valuations (the extent to which these outcomes are perceived as good or bad) mediate the association between peer influences and lifetime alcohol use. Early adolescents (N =904) from 2 public middle schools in western Michigan completed a battery of questionnaires. Overall, results showed that alcohol expectancies and valuations partially mediated the relations between peer influences (peer use and peer approval) and lifetime alcohol use. The findings suggest that associating with peers who are perceived as using alcohol and approving of drinking may influence adolescents' alcohol expectancies. The authors briefly discuss future research directions and implications for prevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-376
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Genetic Psychology
Volume170
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009

Keywords

  • Adolescent alcohol use
  • Alcohol expectancies
  • Peer influences
  • Theory of reasoned action

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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