Examining Willingness and Intentions to Drink Alcohol as Predictors of Protective Behavioral Strategies
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Purpose: Willingness and intentions are components of the Prototype Willingness Model (PWM), which predicts adolescent and young adult health-risk behaviors. However, research has yet to examine intentions and willingness as predictors of health-protective behaviors, such as alcohol-related protective behavioral strategies (PBS). PBS are behavioral strategies to reduce the amount of alcohol consumed or risk for negative consequences. Longitudinal and daily-level findings have shown PBS to be associated with alcohol-related consequences. As such, we hypothesized that willingness and intentions to drink any alcohol or engage in heavy-episodic drinking (4+ women, 5+ men) will be associated with subsequent PBS use. Methods: A total of 1,034 participants (mean age 19.5, 45% male) completed longitudinal data as part of a larger experimental study. Linear regressions controlling for age and sex were used to test all models. Results: Study findings indicated that the harm reduction PBS subscale was significantly predicted by intentions of heaviest drinking day (ß = 0.027, t = 2.261, p Conclusions: Willingness and intentions, the primary components of the PWM, were shown to predict the health-protective behaviors of alcohol-related PBS. A targeted intervention among those who are more willing to drink may promote the use of PBS, which in turn may reduce alcohol-related consequences.