Alcohol-Related Expectancies Predict Quantity and Frequency of Heavy Drinking Among College Students

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Alcohol-related expectancies covary consistently with consumption patterns; limited research also suggests that expectancies can predict future drinking behavior. However, the ability of expectancies to predict high-risk drinking has not been evaluated among college students. Participants were 140 undergraduates who completed an alcohol use assessment at 2 points in time, separated by 1 month. Using multiple regression analyses, the author determined that alcohol-related expectancies accounted for a small but significant percentage of variance in each of 2 alcohol consumption variables. Global positive expectancies predicted maximum daily quantity, and sexual enhancement expectancies predicted the frequency of intoxication, even when controlling for baseline levels of both variables. These findings support alcohol abuse prevention efforts designed to modify cognitive expectancies.

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