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J Child Adolesc Subst Abuse. 2010 Nov 1;19(5):406-423.

Self-Cognitions, Risk Factors for Alcohol Problems, and Drinking in Preadolescent Urban Youth.

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University of Illinois at Chicago.


We examined relationships between self-structure and known precursors for alcohol problems in 9-12 year old primarily Black and Latino youth (N=79). Parental alcohol problems and being female predicted few positive and many negative self-cognitions and a future-oriented self-cognition related to alcohol ('drinking possible self'). Nineteen percent of the sample reported ever drinking, but 40% of those with a 'drinking possible self' reported ever drinking. Compared never drinkers, youth who reported ever drinking had fewer self-cognitions. The self-structure may be an important mechanism through which parental alcohol problems and antisocial behavior lead to early alcohol use, and a viable target of interventions aimed at preventing early alcohol use.

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