Covariance Structure Models of Expectancy

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Antecedent variables under the broad categories of genetic, environmental and cultural influences have been linked to the risk for alcohol abuse. Such risk factors have not been shown to result in high correlations with alcohol consumption and leave unclear an understanding of the mechanism by which these variables lead to increased risk. This study employed covariance structure modeling to examine the mediational influence of stored information in memory about alcohol, alcohol expectancies in relation to two biologically and environmentally driven antecedent variables, family history of alcohol abuse and a sensation-seeking temperament in a college population. We also examined the effect of criterion contamination on the relationship between sensation-seeking and alcohol consumption. Results indicated that alcohol expectancy acts as a significant, partial mediator of the relationship between sensation-seeking and consumption, that family history of alcohol abuse is not related to drinking outcome and that overlap in items on sensation-seeking and alcohol consumption measures may falsely inflate their relationship.

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Journal of Studies on Alcohol, v. 55, issue 3, p. 315-326