Alcohol expectancies and drinking behavior among adolescents in Inner Mongolia, China
This study involved the first five years of research in the development of the Chinese Adolescent Alcohol Expectancy Questionnaire (CAAEQ).
Qualitative methods were used to identify the widest range of alcohol expectancies held by Chinese adolescents. Quantitative methods were used to refine the expectancy scale to meet acceptable psychometric standards. Some 2,500 10th to 12th grade students, from nine schools in Inner Mongolia, participated.
Results of exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, reliability testing, and panel reviews indicate that the CAAEQ was a conceptually sound and statistically reliable measure of the eight factors identified as dimensions of alcohol expectancies. These eight factors were described as: global negative, positive social perceptions, positive physical effects, negative uses of alcohol, social facilitation, and three factors reflecting uniquely Chinese cultural and traditional perspectives: social courtesy, negative personal effects, and traditional or common beliefs.
Among the sampled students drinking was a common behavior. Males were more likely to drink, drink more frequently, drink larger quantities, and engage in 'risky' drinking behaviors than females. Beer was the most common and favored type of alcohol. Students' drinking practices were influenced by parental and peers' drinking behaviors, and attitudes. Students with both parents who drank and who perceived their parents as not opposing their drinking were more likely to be drinkers. Positive peer attitudes and practices were related to student drinking. Most students' drinking took place at festivals, at home, and with parents, suggesting relatively low-risk drinking patterns.
Results suggest that Chinese adolescent drinking behaviors are the results of the combined influences of biological factors (age and gender), psychological factors (expectancies), and sociocultural factors (parental and peer). Because expectancies are learned these finding provide new insights for education and policy planners interested in reducing high-risk alcohol behaviors.
0680: Health education