Cognitive Motivation and Drug Use: A 9-Year Longitudinal Study

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


Investigaed the predictive precedence of expectancy constructs, operationally defined as cognitive motivations, and drug use over a 9-yr period from adolescence to adulthood. Alternative predictions from 3 different classes of theories of expectancy-behavior relations, including expectancy theory, a Skinnerian approach, and a reciprocal determinism perspective, were evaluated. The results are most consistent with the notion based in expectancy theory that cognitive motivations are nonspurious and possibly functionally autonomous influences on the use and abuse of drugs. More limited support is found for the view that drug use leads to cognitive motivations, as postulated in other theoretical perspectives. Other findings reveal the presence of expectancy generalization processes consistent with J. B. Rotter's (1954) expectancy theory, as well as the unique status of cognitive motivations for alcohol as an independent predictor of problem drug use.

Rights Information

© 1991 American Psychological Association