Online Program

Drinking possible self: Part of the pathway to alcohol problems in adolescents

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Chia-Kuei Lee, PhD, College of Nursing, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Colleen Corte, PhD, College of Nursing, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Karen Stein, PhD, School of Nursing, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
Background: Alcohol use in adolescents is a serious public health problem. Given that future-oriented cognitions about the self (possible selves) powerfully motivate behavior and are shaped by the social environment, the purpose of this study was to determine whether having an expected possible self as a “drinker” in 8th grade mediated the effects of social influences on alcohol consumption and alcohol problems in 9th grade. Methods: A secondary data analysis from a longitudinal study of 137 adolescents during the transition from 8th to 9th grade was conducted. In the 8th grade, adolescents indicated the likelihood that “drink too much alcohol in the future” would describe them in the future. Responses were recoded into a dichotomous variable reflecting presence or absence of a “drinking” possible self, which was treated as mediator. Social influences included positive and negative self-schemas; self-esteem; family adaptability, cohesion, and structure; and social influences of parents, siblings, classmates, friends, and teachers. Gender and alcohol consumption/problems in the 8th grade were control variables. Outcomes were 9th grade alcohol level of consumption and degree of alcohol problems. Results: Path models showed that having a “drinking” possible self in the 8th grade positively predicted 9th grade alcohol problems but did not predict 9th grade alcohol consumption. Also, having a “drinking” possible self mediated the effects of negative self-schemas and self-esteem in the 8th grade on 9th grade alcohol problems. Conclusion: A “drinking” possible self is part of the pathway to alcohol problems in adolescents and may be a useful intervention target.

Learning Areas:

Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the role of drinking possible self on alcohol problems in adolescents.

Keyword(s): Alcohol, Substance Abuse Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a PhD candidate, prinicipal invistigate in a study entitle "Properties of possible selves in social context: Social determinants and risky behaviors in adolescents." My other areas of research experiences in Taiwan include behavior problems of children born to adolescent mothers, genetic education and counseling, development of cancer patient supportive group and cancer care.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.