The Influence of Social Goals and Perceived Peer Attitudes on Intentions to Use Tobacco and Alcohol in an Adolescent Sample Elisa M. Trucco, B.A. and Craig.
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Presentation on theme: "The Influence of Social Goals and Perceived Peer Attitudes on Intentions to Use Tobacco and Alcohol in an Adolescent Sample Elisa M. Trucco, B.A. and Craig."— Presentation transcript:
The Influence of Social Goals and Perceived Peer Attitudes on Intentions to Use Tobacco and Alcohol in an Adolescent Sample Elisa M. Trucco, B.A. and Craig R. Colder, Ph.D. University at Buffalo, The State University of New York ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION METHODS This research was supported by a grant from the NIDA (R01 DA019631) awarded to Craig Colder. The content of this poster is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of NIDA. Correspondence should be addressed to: Elisa M. Trucco, B.A. Psychology Department, SUNY at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org@buffalo.edu Though peer socialization theories are prominent in the adolescent substance use literature, there is likely variability in vulnerability to peer influence, and few studies have examined this. This study examined the association between peer substance use attitudes and intentions to use, and how social goals moderate this relationship. Results support the moderating role of social goals, and suggest important differences with respect to alcohol and cigarette use. The relationship between peer attitudes supportive of alcohol use were associated with future intentions to drink for those characterized by strong communal goals. Peer attitudes supportive of cigarette use were associated with future intentions to smoke for those characterized by strong agentic goals. The findings suggest that social goals may be important individual differences to incorporate into theories of adolescent substance use and prevention programs. Research suggests that the peak of cigarette and alcohol initiation is in the middle school years (Johnston et al., 2005). Accordingly, understanding possible risk factors involved in early stages of acquisition in young adolescence can clarify the etiology of substance use and inform development of substance use prevention programs. Peer influence models have facilitated our understanding of substance use initiation in adolescence, but peers may not exert the same effects across all children. This study investigated whether social goals increase susceptibility to peer influence. Specifically, we examined the association between peer substance use attitudes and intentions to use alcohol and cigarettes, and how social goals might moderate this association. Hypotheses: It was expected that individuals highly motivated to belong to a social group (communal goals) or gain respect from peers (agentic goals) will be more likely to conform to the social group’s attitudes towards substance use. It was expected that perceived peer attitudes that support substance use would predict strong intentions to use alcohol and cigarettes for adolescents characterized by strong communal or strong agentic interpersonal goals. Prior research has shown gender differences in social goals, and accordingly, gender was included as a covariate. Though gender interactions were also tested to explore potential gender specific pathways, no hypotheses were made about these interactions. Sample: The sample was taken from a 3-year longitudinal study investigating problem behavior and substance use in adolescence. 11 and 12 year-olds (n = 328) were recruited in Erie County, New York using random-digit-dialing and not eligible if they had any disabilities precluding them from understanding or completing the interviews. The majority were female (58.4%), Caucasian (81.7%), and from 2-parent families (75.9%). Procedures: Data collection for families took approximately 2½ hours and families were compensated $75. Only adolescent measures at baseline were used. Measures: Social goals were assessed using the revised Interpersonal Goals Inventory for Children (IGI-CR; Trucco et al., 2008). Perceived peer attitudes towards use were assessed using items adapted from Monitoring the Future (MTF) that reflect both perceived peer substance use and peer approval (Johnston et al., 2005). Intentions to use alcohol or cigarettes within 5 years was assessed using items adapted from MTF Future (Johnston et al., 2003). Data Plan: Some adolescents reported having used alcohol (4.58%) or cigarettes (2.13%) so these observations were removed from analyses to permit examination of intentions to initiate use. An overall score for agency (i.e., dominance and leadership goals) and communal (i.e., goals to fit in and gain solidarity) scores were calculated. Ordinary least squares (OLS) regression was used to test the study hypotheses, and intentions to use cigarettes and alcohol were analyzed separately. Of interest were 3 2-way interaction terms (agentic goals x peer attitudes, communal goals x peer attitudes, and gender x peer attitudes). Interaction terms with continuous moderators (e.g., social goals) were probed with values of 1 SD above and below the sample mean. Intentions to use alcohol and cigarettes were not normally distributed and so these variables were transformed. RESULTS BACKGROUND CONCLUSION ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS and CONTACT INFORMATION MeanSDCorrelations 123456 1. Cigarette Intentions 1.18 a 0.47 a 1.00 2. Alcohol Intentions 1.60 a 0.93 a 0.44**1.00 3. Agentic-1.531.310.15*0.11*1.00 4. Communal2.671.61-0.09-0.03-0.091.00 5. Peer Attitudes (Cigarettes) 0.000.680.32**0.28**0.21**-0.081.00 6. Peer Attitudes (Alcohol) 0.000.740.32**0.43**0.18**-0.090.75**1.00 Notes: * p <.05, ** p <.001, a based on untransformed variables Table 1. Descriptive Statistics for all Study Variables ParameterCoefficient a SEt value Intercept0.123**.0225.69 Gender-0.046*.020-2.33 Agentic0.014.0071.84 Communal-0.002.006-0.30 Peer Attitudes (Cigarettes) 0.111*.0372.97 Agentic x Peer Attitudes 0.031*.0142.14 Communal x Peer Attitudes -0.041.010-1.37 Gender x Peer Attitudes 0.029.031.344 R-square 0.10 Table 2. Regression Models for Intentions to Use Cigarettes ParameterCoefficient a SEt value Intercept0.368**.0566.06 Gender-0.090.052-1.74 Agentic0.008.0190.40 Communal0.013.0160.85 Peer Attitudes (Alcohol) 0.207*.1051.97 Agentic x Peer Attitudes -0.001.037-0.03 Communal x Peer Attitudes 0.062 †.0341.81 Gender x Peer Attitudes -0.109.100-1.10 R-square0.13 Figure 1. Peer Attitudes on Intentions to Use Cigarettes by Agentic Goals Figure 2. Peer Attitudes on Intentions to Use Alcohol by Communal Goals Table 3. Regression Models for Intentions to Use Alcohol This study offers support for individual differences in susceptibility to peer influence. Perceived peer cigarette attitudes were more strongly associated with intentions to smoke for adolescents characterized by high levels of agency than those characterized by low levels. We also found some support for communal goals moderating the relationship between perceived peer attitudes towards alcohol and intentions to drink, such that adolescents characterized by strong communal goals may be more susceptible to peer influence than those characterized by low levels. The findings suggest that social goals impact vulnerability to peer influences and operate differently for cigarette and alcohol use. High levels of agency are associated with a strong motivation for dominance and respect in social relationships, and adolescents associate smoking with an image of rebelliousness, maturity, leadership, and coolness (Dinh, Sarason, Peterson, & Onstad, 1995; Gerrard et al., 2002). Accordingly, agentic adolescents may view smoking as an effective means of projecting an image of being dominant, in control, and appearing cool, and thus, eliciting respect from a pro-smoking peer group. In contrast, adolescents who are characterized by strong communal goals are motivated to feel connected with their peer group and gain a sense of solidarity, and adolescents associate drinking alcohol with an image of someone who is social and fits in (Andrews & Peterson, 2006; Norman, Armitage, & Quigley, 2007). Accordingly, communal adolescents may view drinking as a viable means of developing a connection with others, and thus, increasing solidarity and belongingness from a pro- drinking peer group. These findings suggest that peer models should incorporate individual differences that impact vulnerability to peer influence. Importantly, aspects of these models may need to be tailored to specific drugs. Notes: *p <.05, **p <.001, † marginal significance, a Unstandardized +1 0 Intentions to Use Alcohol +1 0 Intentions to Use Cigarettes