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Alcohol expectancies: Effects of gender, age, and family history of alcoholism

Addictive Behaviors
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DOI: 10.1016/s0306-4603(96)00022-6


Abstract To explore the effects of gender, age, and positive (FH + ) and negative (FH − ) family history of alcoholism on alcohol-related expectancies, the Alcohol Expectancy Questionnaire (AEQ) was administered to 627 college students (female n = 430). In an attempt to control for consumption effects, only individuals who described themselves as heavy drinkers were included in the study. A 2 (Family History) × 2 (Gender) × 2 (Age Range) multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was conducted on the six scales of the AEQ. Results indicated that FH + females under the age of 20 years reported stronger expectancies of social and physical pleasure than did FH− females. Results also suggested that females over the age of 20 reported significantly lower expectancies of global, positive effects compared to all other subjects, regardless of family history of alcoholism. Finally, both male and female subjects under the age of 20 reported greater expectancies of global, positive effects, sexual enhancement, feelings of increased power and aggression, and social assertion compared to individuals over the age of 20. These results indicate that alcohol-related expectancies vary as a function of age, gender, and family history of alcoholism.

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