Modifying alcohol-related expectancies in grade-school children

D. Kraus, G. T. Smith, H. H. Ratner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Expectancies for reinforcement from alcohol appear to form during the grade-school years and play a causal role in problem drinking behavior. Using a sample of 268 second through fourth graders, we investigated whether children's expectancies could be modified successfully. Children were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: two experimental expectancy modification conditions (using 10-minute video interventions), one control condition involving a 10-minute video presenting facts concerning alcohol's deleterious effects, and one no-intervention control condition. Relative to controls, expectancies were increased by one experimental condition and decreased by the other; these changes were sustained at 4-week follow-up. This suggests expectancy modification should be tested as an adjunct to current prevention programs. Relations of gender and family history of problem drinking or alcoholism to expectancy endorsement are described.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)535-542
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Studies on Alcohol
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


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