Is It More Feeling or Thinking? The Influence of Affective and Cognitive Attitude on Adolescents' Intention to Engage in Binge Drinking

J Health Commun. 2018;23(5):430-434. doi: 10.1080/10810730.2018.1461960. Epub 2018 Apr 25.


Previous work has revealed that interventions aiming to reduce adolescent binge drinking commonly focus on cognitive attitudes, but are insufficiently effective in changing binge-drinking intentions. The focus on these cognitive attitudes might be the reason for this insufficient success. That is, other work has revealed that affective attitudes have a stronger influence on binge-drinking intention than cognitive attitudes. However, this relation has so far only been found among traditional college students and pre-vocational school students, therewith neglecting another important population at risk, namely vocational community college students. This study examines whether affective attitudes are also significantly stronger influencers of binge-drinking intentions among vocational community college students. Using a sample of 298 vocational community college students (Mage = 17.63), the current study shows that affective attitudes were more strongly related to vocational community college students' intention to engage in binge drinking than cognitive attitudes. This finding indicates that the effectiveness of interventions targeting adolescent binge drinking can be improved by incorporating content elements concerning affective attitudes.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Affect*
  • Attitude
  • Binge Drinking / psychology*
  • Cognition*
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intention*
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Netherlands
  • Students
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vocational Education