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Addict Behav. 2018 Jun;81:125-133. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2018.02.009. Epub 2018 Feb 6.

Impulsivity-related traits, college alcohol beliefs, and alcohol outcomes: Examination of a prospective multiple mediation model among college students in Spain, Argentina, and USA.

Author information

1
Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse, and Addictions, University of New Mexico, USA. Electronic address: ajbravo@unm.edu.
2
Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse, and Addictions, University of New Mexico, USA.
3
Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Facultad de Psicología, Córdoba, Argentinaa; Instituto de Investigaciones Psicológicas, IIPSI, Unidad Ejecutora CONICET, Córdoba, Argentina.
4
Department of Psychology, University at Buffalo, USA.
5
Department of Basic and Clinical Psychology and Psychobiology, Universitat Jaume I, Castelló de la Plana, Castellón, Spain.
6
Department of Basic and Clinical Psychology and Psychobiology, Universitat Jaume I, Castelló de la Plana, Castellón, Spain; Centre for Biomedical Research Network on Mental Health (CIBERSAM), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, Spain.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The present study examined (both cross-sectionally and prospectively) the mediational role of college alcohol beliefs in the relationship between impulsivity-related traits and alcohol outcomes (i.e., alcohol use and negative consequences) among college student drinkers from the United States (U.S.), Spain, and Argentina.

METHOD:

A sample of 1429 (U.S. = 733, Spain = 292, Argentina = 404) drinkers (at least one drinking episode within the previous month) completed the baseline survey, and 242 drinkers completed the follow-up. To test study aims, a cross-sectional model was first employed to examine whether the proposed double-mediated paths (i.e., each dimension of impulsivity → college alcohol beliefs → alcohol use → negative alcohol-related consequences) extends across samples with different cultural backgrounds (i.e., structural invariance testing). A longitudinal model was then conducted to assess if college alcohol beliefs prospectively mediate the associations between trait impulsivity and alcohol outcomes.

RESULTS:

College alcohol beliefs were concurrently and prospectively associated with both greater alcohol use and increased number of negative alcohol-related consequences. These internalized beliefs about college student drinking culture significantly mediated the effects of several distinct impulsivity-related traits on alcohol-related outcomes including urgency (positive and negative), sensation seeking, and perseverance. These findings were invariant across gender and across three countries (Argentina, Spain, and the U.S.).

CONCLUSIONS:

Our findings highlight the modulatory role of cognitive factors on problematic alcohol use among college students with different cultural backgrounds. Our results suggest that, despite the cultural differences exhibited by these three countries, the unique and mediational effects of college alcohol beliefs appear relatively universal.

KEYWORDS:

Alcohol; College alcohol beliefs; College students; Cross-cultural; Impulsivity

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