Intergenerational transmission of alcohol expectancies in a high-risk sample

Elizabeth D. Handley, Laurie Chassin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Objective: The goal of the present study was to examine prospectively two interrelated processes simultaneously: (1) the intergenerational transmission of alcohol expectancies and (2) the intergenerational transmission of alcohol use. Method: Participants were from an ongoing longitudinal study of children of alcoholics. Path analyses were used to test paternal transmission (n = 325 fathers and their offspring) and maternal transmission (n = 415 mothers and their offspring). Results: Results indicated that boys' alcohol expectancies were infl uenced by their fathers' alcoholism diagnosis rather than by their fathers' beliefs about the effects of alcohol. There was no evidence of the transmission of beliefs for girls from mothers or fathers, or for boys from mothers. Furthermore, among boys only, alcohol expectancies partially mediated the effect of paternal alcoholism on drinking during young adulthood. Conclusions: These results suggest that fathers' alcohol-use behavior is more infl uential in boys' alcohol expectancy development than are fathers' expectancies and that alcohol expectancies during emerging adulthood may be one mechanism underlying the intergenerational transmission of drinking among males.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)675-682
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of studies on alcohol and drugs
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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