Adolescent alcohol use as a goal-directed behaviour

dc.contributor.authorMaggs, Jennifer Lianne
dc.contributor.supervisorGalambos, Nancy L. of Psychologyen_US of Philosophy Ph.D.en_US
dc.description.abstractAlthough excessive alcohol use poses serious risks to individual well-being, drinking alcohol may serve important functions for adolescents. Guided by the developmental action perspective, the present research examined: (a) the subjective functions that alcohol use serves for older adolescents by studying their perceptions of the importance of experiencing and avoiding consequences of drinking; (b) the extent to which these importance ratings predicted levels of alcohol use; and (c) changes in importance ratings and in drinking behaviour following experience with alcohol. In Study 1, the Scale Construction Phase, data collected from 96 young adult university students (mean age = 23.6 years) were used to develop reliable scales measuring the importance of experiencing four positive consequences (Fun, Peer Experience, Relaxation/Coping, Image/Reputation) and avoiding three negative consequences (Physical, Behavioural, Driving-related) of drinking. In Study 2, the Drinking and Social Behaviour Survey, late adolescent university students (mean age = 18.7 years) completed questionnaires on two occasions at the start of the academic year (n = 344 at Time 1 and n = 169 at Time 2). Three groups of variables were assessed: (a) the importance of experiencing and avoiding consequences of drinking: (b) levels of alcohol use (actual and planned); and (c) frequency of experiencing the seven consequences of drinking. Descriptive analyses examined gender differences in alcohol use and gender and category (i.e., positive vs. negative) differences in importance ratings and experienced consequences. Explanatory analyses demonstrated that importance ratings of positive and negative consequences predicted concurrent and subsequent changes in alcohol use. Moreover, multiple regression and path analyses (using LISREL) showed that the experience of positive but not negative drinking-related consequences predicted short-term changes in positive and negative importance ratings and in intentions to drink. The discussion focuses on the active role played by the adolescent participants in shaping their own drinking behaviour, and on the relative importance of positive versus negative consequences in motivating or limiting adolescent alcohol use.en_US
dc.rightsAvailable to the World Wide Weben_US
dc.subjectDrinking of alcoholic beveragesen_US
dc.titleAdolescent alcohol use as a goal-directed behaviouren_US


Original bundle
Now showing 1 - 1 of 1
Thumbnail Image
9.21 MB
Adobe Portable Document Format
License bundle
Now showing 1 - 1 of 1
No Thumbnail Available
1.71 KB
Item-specific license agreed upon to submission