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Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. 1999 Nov;7(4):473-83.

Experimental demonstration of the influence of alcohol advertising on the activation of alcohol expectancies in memory among fourth- and fifth-grade children.

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Department of Psychology, University of Central Florida, Orlando 32816-1390, USA.


Previous work has demonstrated that children's organization and activation of alcohol expectancies in memory vary as a function of alcohol use, even among children as young as in the 3rd grade. To advance the understanding of influences on the development of alcohol expectancies in children, 551 4th- and 5th-grade children were exposed to 5 beer commercials or 5 soft drink commercials. After viewing the advertisements, all children reported their 1st associate to an alcohol prompt and completed a memory model-based measure of children's alcohol expectancies. Multidimensional scaling was used to map expectancies into hypothetical memory network format, and preference mapping was used to derive possible paths of activation. Children who viewed beer commercials were more likely to activate positive and arousing alcohol expectancies. In view of previous findings demonstrating that this pattern of activation corresponded to higher drinking among 3rd, 6th, 9th, and 12th graders, the present findings suggested that antecedents to drinking like exposure to advertising may promote heavier drinking among children by influencing the activation of expectancies in memory.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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