Tri-Ethnic Center

College of Natural Sciences

Do Specific Types of Outcome Expectancies Moderate the Relationship Between Descriptive Norms and Alcohol Use Among AI and White Students Living On or Near Reservations?

Student data from 14 schools on or near AI reservations in the western and Midwestern U.S. were used to evaluate three forms of outcome expectancies - benefits to self (BS), benefits to others (BO), anticipatory socialization (AS) - as potential moderators of the relationship between descriptive norms (DN) and three measures of alcohol use (last month use, last month drunk, binge drinking) among AI and white 10-12th grade students.

In a final model with control for ethnicity, sex, and grade, descriptive norms and perceived benefits to self increased the likelihood of all forms of alcohol use. Anticipatory socialization was not significantly related to levels of alcohol use, and benefits to others produced a suppression effect and was excluded from the final models. Perceived benefits to self moderated the relationship between descriptive norms and last month alcohol use and binge drinking, but not for last month drunk, but the effects of the interaction were not large. Estimated probabilities of alcohol use, last month drunkenness, and binge drinking are presented below for three levels (mean levels and 1 standard deviation) of descriptive norms, benefits to self, and anticipatory socialization.




Dieterich, S.E., Stanley, L.R., Swaim, R.C., & Beauvais, F. (2013). Outcome expectancies, descriptive norms, and alcohol use: American Indian and White adolescents. Journal of Primary Prevention, 34, 209-219.