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Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 1998 Feb;24(1):131-51.

Children's beliefs about drinking.

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  • 1University of Washington School of Social Work, Seattle, WA 98105-6299, USA.


This paper reports the results of a study in which age (grade level), racial/ethnic, and gender differences in beliefs and perceived norms about drinking were examined in a multi-ethnic urban sample of 4th through 7th grade children. Results showed that older children held beliefs and perceived norms that were more favorable toward drinking than younger children. The major difference between older and younger children lay in their differential estimates of the likelihood of certain consequences occurring and not in their evaluation of these consequences of drinking. Further, older children not only displayed less motivation to comply with their parents and greater motivation to comply with their peers, but they also perceived their parents, as well as their peers, as less disapproving of drinking than did younger children. There were few gender or race/ethnicity differences at these ages in children's beliefs and perceived norms about drinking.

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