Office of Health Promotion Research
Callas PW, Flynn BS, Worden JK. Potentially modifiable psychosocial factors associated with alcohol use during early adolescence. Addict Behav. 2004 Nov;29(8):1503-15.
This study was conducted to identify factors associated with alcohol use among early adolescents. A survey was administered to all Grade 7 and 8 students in 16 Vermont school districts. The questionnaire covered demographics, alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use, and measures of psychosocial mediators of alcohol use drawn from social cognitive theory. These included positive and negative expectancies about alcohol effects, perceived peer and parent alcohol norms, perceived prevalence of adolescent alcohol use, and confidence in ability to refuse alcohol. Of the 2919 respondents, 29% reported having at least one drink of beer in the preceding 30 days. In logistic regression, factors independently related to risk of drinking beer in the past 30 days were smoking (odds ratio [OR] = 2.3, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.8-3.0), marijuana use (OR 3.9, 95% CI 3.0-5.2), negative expectancies (OR 0.4, 95% CI 0.3-0.6), parent norms (OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.1-1.7), and estimated percentage of high school students who drink (OR 1.3, 95% CI 1.1-1.5). Gender, positive alcohol expectancies, and lack of confidence in ability to refuse alcohol all significantly interacted with peer norm, with these items more strongly associated with alcohol use when peer norm is toward "shouldn't drink." Modifiable perceptions of alcohol use were strongly associated with actual use in this adolescent sample, providing a basis for intervention program design.
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