Alcohol outcome expectancies and drinking motives mediate the association between sensation seeking and alcohol use among adolescents

Addict Behav. 2008 Oct;33(10):1344-52. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2008.06.006. Epub 2008 Jun 12.


Sensation seeking is a strong correlate of alcohol consumption among young people, yet the research on mediators of this association is mainly limited to English-speaking adolescents. The proposed model of the present study includes antecedent variables (sensation seeking, age and gender), mediators (positive and negative expectancies and drinking motives), and one outcome variable (a composite score of alcohol use). Self-reported data obtained from Hungarian high school students (N=707, mean age 16.6, SD=1.5) were analyzed with structural equation modeling. The general model fit was excellent, and this study supported the proposed sensation seeking --> positive and negative expectancies --> drinking motives --> alcohol use indirect effects. The total indirect effect explains 38% of sensation seeking and alcohol use association. Results support the notion that positive expectancy mediates between sensation seeking and drinking motives, and finally, positive expectancy and drinking motives are mediators between sensation seeking and alcohol use.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology*
  • Association
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hungary / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological
  • Motivation*
  • Prevalence
  • Sex Factors
  • Students / psychology
  • Students / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult