Author

Melanie Morse

Date of Award

Summer 2020

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Kate Flory

Abstract

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common childhood behavioral disorder that often extends into adulthood and is associated with negative health outcomes, including alcohol use. Alcohol expectancies are a widely studied predictor of alcohol use, and have been shown to predict alcohol use among individuals with ADHD. Positive alcohol expectancies appear to be particularly related to alcohol use as well as ADHD. However, a number of broad social factors including parent, peer, and school/environmental influence likely impact the relation between ADHD and alcohol expectancies. The current study examined positive parenting, parental monitoring, parental involvement, and school climate as moderators of the relation between ADHD and alcohol expectancies. Data were collected from 379 children (Mage = 12.5 years) and their parents. Parents completed measures of demographics, child ADHD symptoms, parenting, and school climate. Children completed measures of parenting, school climate, and alcohol expectancies. Findings indicated that, for parent report only, positive parenting moderated the relation between ADHD symptoms and positive alcohol expectancies, but not in the hypothesized direction. Similarly, child and parent report of school climate also moderated the relation between ADHD symptoms and positive alcohol expectancies, but this effect was also not in the predicted direction. A possible explanation for findings is the role of peer influence, another broad social factor that is associated with ADHD and alcohol expectancies/use. Future research should explicitly examine the role of peer influence in the relation between ADHD symptoms and positive alcohol expectancies. Although study hypotheses were not supported, continued research in this area remains important for identifying key areas of prevention and intervention.

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