Do fifth graders' attitudes and intentions toward alcohol use predict seventh-grade use?

John A. Webb, Paul E. Baer, J. Greg Getz, Robert S. McKelvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine the relationship among children's perceptions of peer and parental attitudes toward alcohol use, fifth graders' attitudes toward alcohol use and intentions to use alcohol in junior high school, and alcohol use of these same children as seventh graders. Method: Subjects completed questionnaires as fifth graders that assessed their perception of parents' and peers' attitudes toward alcohol use, children's attitudes toward alcohol use, and intentions to use alcohol in junior high school. They completed a survey in the seventh grade that assessed alcohol use. Results: Path analyses indicated that perceived peer and parental attitudes were directly related to children's fifth-grade attitudes toward alcohol use. Attitudes, in turn, were related to fifth-grade intentions, which were related to seventh-grade alcohol use. Peer and parental attitudes, and children's attitudes as fifth graders, were not directly related to later alcohol use. Conclusions: Peer and parental attitudes toward alcohol use among fifth graders exert an indirect, rather than direct, influence on later alcohol use. Similarly, attitudes of fifth graders influence later alcohol use through their influence on intentions to use alcohol. Prevention programs should be targeted toward younger children prior to initiation of alcohol use and should address both peer and parental influences on attitudes and intentions to use alcohol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1611-1617
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • adolescents
  • alcohol use
  • children
  • prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Do fifth graders' attitudes and intentions toward alcohol use predict seventh-grade use?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this