Expectancy Models of Alcohol Use

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 primary goal of the present article is to compare expectancy models with competing attitude models of alcohol use. First, several methodological issues in expectancy research were addressed, to more adequately compare the theoretical models. Study 1 examined the effect of possible self-report biases on associations among expectancy constructs and alcohol use. In Studies 2 and 3, the basic distinction between general factors of positive and negative alcohol expectancies was investigated in both cross-sectional and prospective models. Alternative predictions that were based on competing expectancy and attitude theories were evaluated primarily in Study 3. Results from these studies supported the validity of the expectancy constructs and the proposed distinctions among expectancy and attitude constructs in terms of strong discriminant validity, absence of self-report bias, and differential prediction of alcohol use. Furthermore, the findings favored certain expectancy models over alternative attitude models of alcohol use, reaffirming the usefulness of the expectancy framework.

Rights Information

© 1990 American Psychological Association