Self-Efficacy to Limit Drinking Mediates the Association between Attitudes and Alcohol-Related Outcomes

Angelo M. DiBello, Mary Beth Miller, Kate B. Carey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Personal attitudes toward alcohol consumption are reliable predictors of alcohol use and related problems, with emerging work suggesting that one’s favorable attitude toward limited drinking (i.e., at levels below the threshold for heavy episodic drinking) is a buffer against alcohol use and binge drinking. However, little work has examined the specific mechanism(s) through which one’s personal attitude toward limited drinking is associated with alcohol use and related problems. One such mechanism may be an individual’s self-efficacy to limit their alcohol use. The current study aimed to evaluate whether self-efficacy to limit one’s alcohol use mediates the association between one’s personal attitude toward limited drinking and actual alcohol use and related problems over time. Participants were mandated students (n = 568; 28% female) who violated campus alcohol policy and received a brief motivational intervention. Mediation models were used to test (a) self-efficacy to limit one’s alcohol use as a traditional mediator of the attitudes—drinking quantity association and (b) self-efficacy and drinking quantity as serial mediators of the attitudes—alcohol-problems link. Favorable attitudes toward limiting drinking at baseline were positively associated with self-efficacy to limit drinking at 1 month, which was associated with a reduction in drinking quantity at 3 months; this, in turn, was associated with a reduction in alcohol-related problems at 5 months. These findings provide a rationale for incorporating attitudes and self-efficacy in the development and refinement of intervention strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2400-2408
Number of pages9
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Volume54
Issue number14
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 6 2019
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Keywords

  • Alcohol
  • attitudes
  • college students
  • drinking
  • self-efficacy

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