Cool or fool? The association between drinker prototypes and alcohol consumption using multiple time-point diary assessments in adolescent males
Number of pages
SourceSubstance Use & Misuse, 52, 5, (2017), pp. 656-665
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI OGG
Substance Use & Misuse
Objectives: There is still limited understanding of how different kinds of drinker prototypes are associated with adolescent drinking. This study uses the strengths of multiple time-point diary measures (enhanced validity of alcohol use measurement) to test the predictive value of abstainer, moderate and heavy drinker prototypes in social situations. We examined whether the favorability of these prototypes (i.e., "prototype evaluation"), the perceived similarity of these prototypes to one's self-image (i.e., "prototype similarity") assessed at baseline, and their interaction predict alcohol use assessed in social situations. Methods: Drinker prototypes were assessed in a baseline sample of 599 adolescents. Subsequently, a sample of 77 alcohol-using 16 to 18-year-old males reported their Friday and Saturday evening drinking behavior the next day during eight weeks (resulting in 495 daily measures). Alcohol use was assessed in the company of peers. Results: The more adolescents perceived themselves as similar to heavy drinker prototypes the higher their alcohol consumption in social situations. The more adolescents held favorable abstainer prototypes, the lower their alcohol consumption. The interaction between prototype evaluation and similarity was not significant. Conclusions: By using a more reliable and valid method to assess adolescents' alcohol use, the present study showed that more "extreme" drinker prototypes (i.e., heavy drinker and abstainer prototypes) are most predictive of adolescent alcohol use in social situations. Increasing the perceived dissimilarity to heavy drinker prototypes and the favorability of abstainer prototypes may therefore be important targets in interventions aimed at reducing adolescents' alcohol consumption.
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