The long arm of expectancies: Adolescent alcohol expectancies predict adult alcohol use

Megan E. Patrick, Laura Wray-Lake, Andrea K. Finlay, Jennifer L. Maggs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations

Abstract

Aims: Alcohol expectancies are strong concurrent predictors of alcohol use and problems, but the current study addressed their unique power to predict from adolescence to midlife. Method: Long-term longitudinal data from the national British Cohort Study 1970 (N = 2146, 59.8% female) were used to predict alcohol use and misuse in the mid-30s by alcohol expectancies reported in adolescence. Results: Cohort members with more positive alcohol expectancies at age 16 reported greater alcohol quantity concurrently, increases in alcohol quantity relative to their peers between ages 16 and 35, and a higher likelihood of lifetime and previous year alcohol misuse at age 35, independent of gender, social class in family of origin, age of alcohol use onset, adolescent delinquent behavior and age 16 exam scores. Conclusions: Alcohol expectancies were strong proximal predictors of alcohol use and predicted relative change in alcohol use and misuse across two decades into middle adulthood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-24
Number of pages8
JournalAlcohol and Alcoholism
Volume45
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 6 2009

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