Predicting adolescents' intentions to drink alcohol: outcome expectancies and self-efficacy

J Stud Alcohol. 1995 May;56(3):293-9. doi: 10.15288/jsa.1995.56.293.


Objective: This article examines the relationship between intention to drink alcohol, alcohol outcome expectancies and alcohol-related self-efficacy among Norwegian adolescents. The relationship of expectancies, intention and self-efficacy was assessed for respondents of different ages and different drinking experience.

Method: Data were collected from all seventh and ninth graders in 12 randomly selected schools in Norway. The self-administered questionnaire contained a short version of the Alcohol Expectancy Questionnaire for Adolescents and measures of intentions to drink in the next 12 months, current alcohol use and alcohol-related self-efficacy (e.g., ability to refuse alcohol).

Results: Results showed that both alcohol outcome expectancies and previous experience with alcohol were related to intentions to drink alcohol in the near future. Drinking experience had a larger impact than a 2-year age difference on the associations between alcohol outcome expectancies, alcohol-related self-efficacy and intention to drink. A significantly higher proportion of adolescents with drinking experience reported positive alcohol expectancies, poor alcohol-related self-efficacy and strong intention to drink alcohol than did those adolescents without drinking experience.

Conclusions: Personal drinking experience was a stronger predictor of drinking intentions than was age. Still, both alcohol outcome expectancies and alcohol-related self-efficacy are significant predictors of intention to drink among both seventh and ninth graders, independent of previous drinking experience. This study indicates that postponing the onset of alcohol experimentation could be a major goal in primary alcohol prevention among adolescents, although longitudinal confirmation of these results is needed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
  • Alcohol Drinking / prevention & control
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Male
  • Motivation*
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Personality Development*
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sampling Studies
  • Self Concept*
  • Set, Psychology*