PURPOSE: Alcohol consumption and related problems are common among college students. Prior research links behavioral economic constructs of alcohol demand (relative valuation of alcohol; analyzed using area under the curve) and relative reinforcement (RR; proportionate reinforcement obtained from alcohol-related activities relative to other activities), as well as alcohol expectancies, with alcohol consumption and problems. However, research has yet to examine the associations between behavioral economic and expectancy theories or how they influence alcohol use outcomes. METHOD: College students who endorsed drinking in the past 30 days (n= 287) completed an online survey assessing demand, RR, alcohol expectancies, alcohol problems, and alcohol use. A test of indirect effects examined the impact of alcohol expectancies and alcohol use on the association between demand and alcohol problems, as well as the association between RR and alcohol problems. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: The final model showed adequate fit. There were significant positive associations between demand, RR, and alcohol problems. Higher demand and RR were associated with stronger alcohol expectancies, which partially mediated the association between demand and RR and alcohol problems. Findings suggest that demand and RR may be directly related to alcohol expectancies; a relationship that has not been previously identified. Moreover, alcohol expectancies may serve as the functional mechanism linking demand and RR to alcohol problems. Thus, alcohol expectancies may be an important intervention target for reducing alcohol problems. Future intervention research is needed to evaluate if changes in expectancies attenuate the association between demand and RR to alcohol problems.
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Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Magri, Tatiana, "Examining the Relationship Between Alcohol Expectancies and Behavioral Economic Theory" (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1248.