Protective behavioral strategies and future drinking behaviors: Effect of drinking intentions. Academic Article uri icon


  • Alcohol use is common among United States and Swedish high school students and is related to negative consequences. Whereas drinking intentions are associated with future drinking behaviors, the use of protective behavioral strategies (PBS) is associated with decreased alcohol-related harm among young adults. The interactive effect of PBS and drinking intentions in predicting alcohol outcomes has not been examined. Further, because most PBS studies have been conducted among U.S. college students, PBS research among other populations is needed. The aims of this study were to evaluate longitudinally (a) the relationships between drinking intentions, PBS and alcohol outcomes, and (b) the moderating roles of drinking intentions and country in these relationships among United States and Swedish high school drinkers. Data were collected at baseline, 6- and 12-month follow-ups on 901 Swedish and 288 U.S. high school drinkers. Drinking intentions were associated with more alcohol use and consequences, and use of certain PBS was related to fewer alcohol-related consequences over time. Additionally, the negative prospective relationship between use of PBS and alcohol use, but not alcohol-related consequences, was moderated by intentions, such that the relationship was stronger among participants endorsing high drinking intentions. Country did not moderate these relationships. These results provide initial support for the generalizability of PBS college research to United States and Swedish high school students and suggest that interventions targeting the use of PBS may be most effective among high school drinkers endorsing high drinking intentions. (PsycINFO Database Record(c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

publication date

  • June 2015