Alcohol Related Expectancies vs. Demographic/Background Variables in the Prediction of Adolescent Drinking

Document Type


Publication Date



Alcohol Drinking Attitudes, Alcohol Drinking Patterns, Demographic Characteristics, Expectations, Prediction

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)



The best method currently available for predicting adolescent alcohol consumption is to use the significant relationship that has been found between this variable and demographic/background variables. To assess the theoretical and practical utility of adolescent alcohol expectancies, the present authors pitted these expectancies against important demographic/background variables in the prediction of adolescent drinking. This comparison required 3 procedural steps: (a) factor analytic derivation of 3 adolescent drinking styles, (b) multiple regression prediction of these drinking styles using demographic/background variables, and (c) assessment of the predictive power of alcohol expectancies. Ss were 1,580 12–19 yr olds. Results show that expectancies (as measured by the Alcohol Expectancy Questionnaire for Adolescents) at least equalled and even added to the predictive power of the background variables. Specifically, Ss who drank in a frequent, social manner expected alcohol to enhance their social behavior, whereas Ss who reported alcohol-related problems expected an improvement in their cognitive and motor functioning. Results suggest assessment and treatment strategies for high-risk adolescents and indicate a possible mediator of adolescent drinking problems.

Was this content written or created while at USF?


Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, v. 51, issue 2, p. 249-257