Low perceived chances for success in life and binge drinking among inner-city minority youth

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Tracy R. Nichols, Associate Professor and Doctoral Program Coordinator (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Purpose: To examine the relationship between low perceived chances for success in life and binge drinking in a sample of economically disadvantaged, predominantly minority, urban adolescents.Methods: A sample of predominantly black and Hispanic students (N = 774) from 13 inner-city schools completed confidential questionnaires in the 7th, 8th, and 9th grades. Eight items measured students' estimation of achieving certain adaptive life goals. Students who reported that they typically drink five or more drinks per drinking occasion were identified as binge drinkers.Results: Chi-square proportional analyses indicated that rates of binge drinking increased and perceived life chances decreased for both boys and girls from the 7th to 9th grade. A cross-lagged path analytic model revealed that higher perceived life chances in the 7th grade predicted less binge drinking in the 8th grade, whereas binge drinking in the 8th grade predicted lower perceived life chances in the 9th grade, controlling for change over time in both variables.Conclusions: Low perceived chances of success in life appear to play a role in the initiation and escalation of binge drinking during early adolescence, with a reciprocal relationship between the two factors developing over time.

Additional Information

Journal of Adolescent Health, 34(6), 501-507
Language: English
Date: 2004
Adolescence, Alcohol use, Binge drinking, Gender differences, Minority youth

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