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J Stud Alcohol. 1993 Sep;54(5):600-13.

Young adult drinking-driving: behavioral and psychosocial correlates.

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Research Program on Problem Behavior, University of Colorado at Boulder 80309-0483.


Behavioral and psychosocial correlates of drinking and driving were examined in two independent samples of licensed drivers aged 18 to 25 selected from the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles database. Mail questionnaires were returned by 2,300 young adults (1,196 in Sample 1; 1,104 in Sample 2). Structural equation modeling was used to examine the relation of a latent-variable measure of drinking-driving to latent-variable measures of other driving behaviors, problem behaviors and psychosocial variables. Drinking-driving, drug-driving and risky driving were found to comprise a more general, second-order factor of problem driving behavior. Drinking-driving was also found to constitute one aspect of a larger second-order latent variable that included problem drinking, marijuana use, other illicit drug use and delinquent-type behavior. In combination, the variables of problem driving, other problem behaviors, psychosocial unconventionality, risk-taking and hostility/aggression accounted for 57% of the variance in young adult drinking-driving. All of these Sample 1 findings were buttressed by confirmatory analyses in the independent Sample 2 data. The conclusion can be drawn that drinking-driving is part of a more general lifestyle involving behavior and psychosocial unconventionality.

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