Alcohol Outcome Expectancies: Scale Construction and Predictive Utility in Higher Order Confirmatory Models

Document Type



Community and Global Health (CGU)

Publication Date



Medicine and Health Sciences | Mental and Social Health | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Substance Abuse and Addiction


The goals of this research were to develop a scale to measure alcohol outcome expectancies that incorporated important features suggested by previous research; to examine the psychometric properties of the instrument, with particular attention to item discrimination; and to examine the relationship of positive and negative expectancy to self-reported alcohol use. In Study 1, a preliminary expectancy scale was constructed; factor analysis showed 2 general constructs representing positive and negative consequences of drinking. In Study 2, the scale was refined through tests of item discrimination and was used to predict alcohol use using structural equation modeling. Although negative expectancy was significantly related to alcohol use, positive expectancy was a stronger predictor. These results are consistent with earlier work that proposed a general positive–negative expectancy distinction and suggest that positive expectancy is a more powerful motivator of drinking.

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© 1993 American Psychological Association