A114. DeMartino, C..H., Rice, R. E., & Saltz, R. (2014). An applied test of the social learning theory of deviance to college alcohol use.  Journal of Health Communication, 20(4), 479-490. doi: 10.1080/10810730.2014.988384

Several hypotheses about influences on college drinking were derived from the Social Learning Theory of Deviance were tested and confirmed.  The impact of ethnicity on alcohol use was completely mediated by differential association and differential reinforcement, while the impact of biological sex on alcohol use was partially mediated.  Higher net positive reinforcements to costs for alcohol use predicted increased general use, more underage use, and more frequent binge drinking.  Two unexpected finding were the negative relationship between negative expectations and negative experiences, and the substantive difference between non-drinkers and general drinkers compared to illegal or binge drinkers.  The discussion considers implications for future campaigns based on Akers’s deterrence theory.

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