Social skills, expectancies, and drinking in adolescents

Lisa Rosenthal Gaffney, Karen Thorpe, Ross Young, Robyn Collett, Stefano Occhipinti

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Research in the field of teenage drinking behavior has shown relationships between both social skills and drinking and alcohol expectancies and drinking. The present research investigated the comparative power of both of these sets of variables in predicting teenage drinking behavior, as well as looking at the contribution of more global cognitive structures. It was hypothesised that adolescents with high alcohol involvement would be discriminated from those with low involvement on the basis of social skills, cognitive structures, and alcohol expectancies. Seven hundred thirty-two adolescents participated in the study. Results indicated that adolescent alcohol involvement was associated with social skills deficits, positive alcohol expectancies, and negative cognitive structures concerning parents and teachers. The results revealed that, although the bulk of the variance in drinking behavior was explained by the independent effects of social skills and expectancies, the interaction of the two constructs explained an additional and significant proportion of the variance. Implications for preventive and treatment programs are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)587-599
Number of pages13
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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