Adolescents' anticipated social outcomes for drinking alcohol and being drunk

Catherine Angela Quinn*, Kay Bussey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to investigate the social outcomes adolescents anticipate from three social figures (mother, father and peers) for two alcohol-related behaviours (drinking alcohol and being drunk) and how these anticipated social outcomes relate to adolescents' engagement in underage drinking and experience of alcohol-related harm. The sample was comprised of 651 (329 female) adolescents (age range: 12-16 years; 81% White). Results revealed that the anticipation of less social censure, from mother and peers, for drinking alcohol, related to greater engagement in underage drinking. Further, when underage drinkers were examined separately, lower levels of censure anticipated from mothers and peers for being drunk were associated with higher levels of alcohol-related harm. These findings highlight the importance of not considering social outcomes as a monolithic process. Instead, the results underscore the complexity of adolescents' social environment and the need for research and interventions to examine this context in terms of the different social figures that influence adolescents and the different alcohol-related behaviours adolescents may engage in. Further, it highlights the notable influence of mothers and peers on adolescents' drinking self-regulation, and their potential roles in intervention programs aimed at reducing underage drinking and its associated harms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-264
Number of pages12
JournalAddiction Research and Theory
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015

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