Development and Validation of an Observational Measure of Alcohol-Specific Communication Public Deposited

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  • March 19, 2019
  • Burns, Alison
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
  • The current study tested a novel, theoretical model and associated observational measure of alcohol-specific communication and is the first to examine a broad range of content and communication strategies that caregivers and adolescents use when discussing alcohol. Sixty-three caregiver-adolescent dyads completed computerized questionnaires and a videotaped interaction task that was coded using a macrolevel observational coding system developed for the current study. Overall, findings provided evidence of adequate psychometrics, including adequate to high reliability, preliminary evidence of convergent and divergent validity of caregiver communication, and evidence of divergent validity of adolescent communication. Although superordinate constructs were identified across caregiver content, caregiver process, and adolescent process indicators, more complexity was discovered in the structure of alcohol-specific communication than initially hypothesized. Lastly, several communication processes predicted adolescent alcohol use cognitions. Interestingly, content alone did not predict drinking outcomes but rather, the effect of communication content depended upon the way in which messages were delivered. This highlights the importance of considering the process of alcohol-specific communication in addition to the content in order to better predict youth drinking outcomes. Prevention efforts that involve parents in reducing adolescent alcohol use should be well informed regarding what messages are most beneficial and how parents should deliver such messages. Better measurement of alcohol-specific communication is an imperative first step in that line of research. Results of the current study provide preliminary evidence for the benefit of this comprehensive model and associated observational coding system of alcohol-specific communication.
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Payne, B. Keith
  • Ennett, Susan
  • Jones, Deborah
  • Baucom, Donald
  • Hussong, Andrea
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2014
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
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