Expectancies, evaluations and attitudes: Prediction of college student drinking behavior

Jennifer L. Burden, Stephen A. Maisto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Objective: The goal of this study was to investigate a model of college student alcohol use that not only included primary demographic and social factors shown to influence college student drinking behavior but also measured the influence of expectancies, evaluations of expectancies, and attitudes in prospectively predicting drinking behavior. Method: Participants (N = 171) were recruited from an introductory psychology course subject pool and were asked to complete several questionnaires, including a modified Alcohol Expectancy Questionnaire, an attitude questionnaire and a modified timeline follow-back measure. These measures were completed at baseline and at a 1-month follow-up assessment. The study was then replicated with a separate sample (N = 162). Results: The results of a series of mixed regression analyses indicated that, after accounting for demographic variables, social norms and a college lifestyle attitude variable, the only significant predictor consistent across drinking measures was the general attitude variable. This was true for both the prospective and concurrent analyses of alcohol use. The evaluations of expectancies did account for a significant portion of the variance but appeared secondary to the general attitude measure. The results of the study were replicated in a separate sample. Conclusions: Contrary to previous research, the results of this study suggest that attitudes toward alcohol use account for more variance in predicting drinking behavior than both alcohol expectancies and evaluations of those expectancies. The results of this study are also consistent with findings that evaluations of alcohol-related expectancies predict drinking behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-331
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Studies on Alcohol
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)

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