Risk Factors for Elementary School Drinking: Pubertal Status, Personality, and Alcohol Expectancies Concurrently Predict Fifth Grade Alcohol Consumption

Department of Psychology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506-0044, USA.
Psychology of Addictive Behaviors (Impact Factor: 2.09). 12/2010; 24(4):617-27. DOI: 10.1037/a0020334
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Little is known about the correlates and potential causes of very early drinking. The authors proposed this risk theory: (a) pubertal onset is associated with increased levels of positive urgency (the tendency to act rashly when experiencing intensely positive mood), negative urgency (the tendency to act rashly when distressed), and sensation seeking; (b) those traits predict increased endorsement of high-risk alcohol expectancies; (c) the expectancies predict drinker status among fifth graders; and (d) the apparent influence of positive urgency, negative urgency, and sensation seeking on drinker status is mediated by alcohol expectancies. The authors conducted a concurrent test of whether the relationships among these variables were consistent with the theory in a sample of 1,843 fifth grade students. In a well-fitting structural model, their hypotheses were supported. Drinker status among fifth graders is not just a function of context and factors external to children: it is predictable from a combination of pubertal status, personality characteristics, and learned alcohol expectancies.

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    • ", 2011 ; Cranford et al . , 2010 ; Gunn & Smith , 2010 ) . "
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    • "Underlying personality characteristics such as an increased level of risk-taking behavior may be reflected in the general behavior of an individual, including alcohol and substance abuse.15 Indeed, scientific literature shows that personality aspects play an important role in determining alcohol consumption patterns.16–18 Therefore, it is important to determine whether energy drink consumption is yet another expression of a high-risk behavior lifestyle. "
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    • "The construct validation net for alcohol expectancies is extensive. Expectancies exist prior to drinking onset, mediate relationships between antecedent variables and alcohol use, and predict future alcohol use (Brown et al., 1985; Christiansen et al., 1989; Dunn & Goldman, 1996, 1998, 2000; Goldman et al., 1999; Gunn & Smith, 2010; Henderson et al., 1994; Sher et al., 1991). Knowledge of alcohol expectancy activation patterns derived from memory modeling approaches (Rather et al., 1992) has led to successful expectancybased interventions resulting in reduced alcohol use (Cruz & Dunn, 2003; Darkes & Goldman, 1993, 1998; Dunn et al., 2000; Lau-Barraco & Dunn, 2008; Sivasithamparam & Dunn, 2010). "
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