The interaction of positive and negative outcome expectancies on drinking: a latent growth modeling approach
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] Despite the fact that a number of studies on expectancies have included measures of positive and negative expectancies, only a few have tested the interaction between them. Such interactions would be expected to be important because they might help identify patterns of expectancy configuration that indicate increased risk of heavy alcohol use. Moreover, to date no study has tested the interaction between positive and negative expectancies as they change over time. The current study was intended to fill this gap in the literature by estimating the interactions between initial levels as well as rates of change of positive and negative expectancies predicting alcohol consumption. Latent growth models were estimated across five stages of complexity using longitudinal data from 3,720 college students assessed during four consecutive years. Results showed that both positive and negative expectancies had significant associations with drinking, predicting both initial status and rates of change in alcohol use over time. Furthermore, the interaction between positive and negative expectancies predicted the rates of change in drinking levels both cross-sectionally and prospectively. These results suggest that individuals who exhibit higher increases in positive and negative expectancies might be at higher risk of increasing their levels of alcohol use during young adulthood.
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