, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 297-314

Alcohol-related outcome expectancies: construct overview and implications for primary and secondary prevention

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Alcohol-related outcome expectancies, or just alcohol expectancies for short, represent individually-held expectations regarding alcohol's anticipated positive and negative effects. Alcohol expectancies arise through social learning influences (e.g., modeling), are modified by drinking experiences, and have been shown to predict problem drinking behavior. Following an overview of the alcohol expectancy construct and a brief review of the literature on expectancy-drinking relations, implications of expectancy research for the primary and secondary prevention of problem drinking are discussed. The studies by Kraus et al. (1994) and Darkes and Goldman (1993) are highlighted as they represent prototypical expectancy-based prevention efforts. Limitations of and future directions for expectancy-based prevention research are discussed.