142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Health literacy, alcohol expectancies, and alcohol use behaviors in teens

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014

Deena Chisolm, PhD , The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH
Objective: Expectancies are beliefs that specific positive or negative outcomes will follow certain behaviors. In teens, alcohol expectancies have consistently been shown to predict alcohol use behaviors. Expectancies are developed, in part, through exposure to health messages, the understanding of which may be influenced by health literacy. This study explores the relationships among health literacy, alcohol expectancies, and alcohol use behaviors in teens and examines whether disparities in health literacy influence disparities in alcohol expectancies and alcohol use behaviors. Methods: Alcohol expectancies and alcohol use behaviors in the past six months were assessed via questionnaires given to youths aged 14-19 who were recruited from two adolescent medicine clinics in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Health literacy was assessed using the REALM-Teen. Bivariate relationships were examined using the chi-squared test. A multivariate logistic regression model was used to test the role of health literacy as a moderator of the relationship between expectancies and use behaviors. Results: Of the 293 teens in the study, 45% reported use of alcohol in the past six months. Use behaviors were positively associated with higher health literacy and positive alcohol expectancies. 24% of respondents had less than adequate health literacy. Health literacy limitations were significantly higher in African-American youths compared with whites (32.0% vs. 16.5%).  Our moderation model found that health literacy significantly moderated the relationship between expectancies and use, with the expectancy/use relationship being significantly stronger in higher literacy teens. Conclusion: Alcohol prevention messages designed to reduce use behaviors by reducing positive expectancies may be less effective in low literacy populations which are disproportionately African American.

Learning Areas:

Communication and informatics
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the relationship between health literacy, alcohol expectancies, and alcohol use in adolescents; Identify ways in which this information can be used to inform alcohol prevention messages for teens in dispartities populations with disproportionate rates of low literacy.

Keyword(s): Adolescents, Literacy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an associate professor of pediatrics and public health at the Ohio State Univerisity. As a pediatric health services researcher, I am focused on research on engaging adolescents in health and healthcare decision making. I am the PI on three R01 grants funded by NIDA and NIMHD and have published over 40 scientific articles in health literacy, health disparities, and health information technology.
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.