Substance Use & Misuse | 2019
Effects of Social and Outcome Expectancies on Hazardous Drinking among Chinese University Students: The Mediating Role of Drinking Motivations
Abstract Background and Objectives: Based on the theory of reasoned action, the present study investigated the relative effects of drinking outcome expectancies and parental norms, as well as the mediating effect of drinking motivations, on hazardous drinking in Chinese university students. Method: A sample of Chinese university students in Hong Kong and Macao (N\u2009=\u2009973, M\u2009=\u200919.82, SD\u2009=\u20091.57, 48.9% males), who reported drinking in the past 3\u2009months, voluntarily completed an anonymous questionnaire. Path analysis was used to test the effects of the variables on hazardous drinking. Results: All the psychosocial variables showed positive correlations with hazardous drinking. In the path model, controlling for sex, parental norms had both direct and indirect effects on hazardous drinking through social and enhancement motivations. Courage had the strongest indirect effect on drinking behavior through social, enhancement, and coping motivations, whereas the relationship between tension reduction and hazardous drinking was mediated by enhancement and coping motivations. Sociality and sexuality only had indirect effect through social and coping motivations respectively. Negative outcome expectancies had no direct nor indirect effects on hazardous drinking. Conclusions: Perceived approval from parents and positive alcohol outcome expectancies may enhance individuals’ tendency to engage in hazardous drinking by increasing their motivation to drink to be social, for enjoyment, and to cope with problems. Parents should explicitly show their disapproval of their children’s drinking, and education efforts should focus on decreasing positive outcome expectancies and associated motivations for drinking among Chinese university students.