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Acad Pediatr. 2013 Jul-Aug;13(4):316-21. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2013.03.005. Epub 2013 May 23.

Behavioral self-concept as predictor of teen drinking behaviors.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA. rdudovitz@mednet.ucla.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Adolescence is a critical developmental period for self-concept (role identity). Cross-sectional studies link self-concept's behavioral conduct domain (whether teens perceive themselves as delinquent) with adolescent substance use. If self-concept actually drives substance use, then it may be an important target for intervention. In this study, we used longitudinal data from 1 school year to examine whether behavioral self-concept predicts teen drinking behaviors or vice versa.

METHODS:

A total of 291 students from a large, predominantly Latino public high school completed a confidential computerized survey in the fall and spring of their 9th grade year. Survey measures included the frequency of alcohol use, binge drinking and at-school alcohol use in the previous 30 days; and the Harter Self-Perception Profile for Adolescents behavioral conduct subscale. Multiple regressions were performed to test whether fall self-concept predicted the frequency and type of spring drinking behavior, and whether the frequency and type of fall drinking predicted spring self-concept.

RESULTS:

Fall behavioral self-concept predicted both the frequency and type of spring drinking. Students with low versus high fall self-concept had a predicted probability of 31% versus 20% for any drinking, 20% versus 8% for binge drinking and 14% versus 4% for at-school drinking in the spring. However, neither the frequency nor the type of fall drinking significantly predicted spring self-concept.

CONCLUSIONS:

Low behavioral self-concept may precede or perhaps even drive adolescent drinking. If these results are confirmed, then prevention efforts might be enhanced by targeting high-risk teens for interventions that help develop a healthy behavioral self-concept.

KEYWORDS:

adolescent alcohol use; self-concept

PMID:
23707688
DOI:
10.1016/j.acap.2013.03.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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