PREDICTORS OF DRINKING BEHAVIOUR AMONG ADOLESCENTS AND YOUNG ADULTS: A NEW PSYCHOSOCIAL CONTROL PERSPECTIVE
Based on common cause conceptualisations of problem behaviour, we examined whether a revised psychosocial control theory of adolescent delinquency could explain problem drinking among a non-clinical convenience sample of adolescents and young adults. A sample of 329 Australian secondary school students (adolescent age groups 13–14 and 15–17, 50.6% female) and 334 Australian university students (age groups 18–20 and 21–24, 68.4% female) in Canberra, Australia participated in an online survey comprising self-reported problem drinking and psychosocial control measures. The revised psychosocial model explained variance in problem drinking with large effect sizes in all four age cohorts. Peer risk-taking behaviours significantly predicted problem drinking across all age cohorts, and impulsivity was more influential than sensation seeking. While the findings partially support a revised psychosocial control model, psychosocial control risk factors need to be considered along with the broader sociocultural context. This is particularly important in Australia where drinking is often considered normative within universities and the general community.
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