Adolescents’ experiences with alcohol use and expectations about peer use affect drinking onset.
Initiation of alcohol use among adolescents has many potential factors. Researchers analyzed data from a longitudinal survey of adolescent substance use and health behaviors. They found interacting effects, within individuals, of early initiation, alcohol outcome experiences, and perceived social norms. More positive experiences and the norms of close friends predicted early initiation in a survival analysis. Their results have implications for alcohol screening and prevention initiatives. This study, “Developmental relations between alcohol expectancies and social norms in predicting alcohol onset,” was published in Developmental Psychology. The full paper is under embargo and will be available in early 2019.