Does Alcohol Use Mediate the Association Between Alcohol Evaluations and Alcohol-Related Problems in Adolescents?

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Alcohol use becomes more frequent during adolescence, with the percentage of youth who drink doubling from 8th grade to 12th grade. The escalation in drinking behavior during adolescence is often associated with increased problems and other risk behavior, such as drunk driving. In this study, adolescents (N = 557) were recruited from an emergency department to assess their alcohol use, positive and negative evaluations about alcohol, driving after drinking, and problems experienced from drinking. Analyses explored the mediational role of drinking behavior between adolescents' evaluations and problems from drinking and between evaluations and driving after drinking. The findings indicated that drinking behavior partially mediated the association between positive evaluations and problems experienced from drinking but did not mediate the association between evaluations and drunk driving.

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