Using the theory of planned behaviour to understand binge drinking:the importance of beliefs for developing interventions


Objectives. To elicit students' salient beliefs in relation to binge drinking, and to examine the extent to which individual salient beliefs predict theory of planned behaviour (TPB) constructs in relation to binge drink, and actual drinking behaviour assessed later that evening. Design. Longitudinal, over a single evening. Methods. 192 students were recruited as they entered a campus bar at the beginning of the evening. They completed questionnaires with open-ended questions eliciting beliefs concerning binge drinking, and ratings scales assessing standard TPB constructs in relation to binge drinking. At the end of the evening, 181 completed a second questionnaire and recorded the number of alcoholic drinks they had consumed. Results. Beliefs were reliably coded (all kappas =0.79). Students with higher intentions to binge drink were more likely to believe that their friends approved of binge drinking, and that (lack of) money would make it difficult. Students who reported drinking more alcohol at the end of the evening were more likely to believe that getting drunk is an advantage/what they would like about binge drinking tonight, that their sports teams would approve, and that celebrating, drinking patterns, and environment would make it easy to binge drink. Conclusions. The present study has identified the individually salient beliefs relating to drinking behaviour that the TPB states should be addressed by interventions to alter behaviour, and which that should be assessed as mediators in intervention research. As a whole, these findings highlight the importance of perceived peer norms in binge drinking in this population, and support the idea of interventions to challenge the perception of social pressure to binge drink.

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Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Psychology
College of Health & Life Sciences
College of Health & Life Sciences > Chronic and Communicable Conditions
Additional Information: This is the pre-peer-reviewed version of the following article French, DP & Cooke, R 2012, 'Using the theory of planned behaviour to understand binge drinking: the importance of beliefs for developing interventions', British journal of health psychology, vol 17, no. 1, pp. 1-17, which has been published in final form at
Publication ISSN: 2044-8287
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2024 08:06
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2012 09:30
Full Text Link: http://onlineli ... 2010.x/abstract
Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2012-02
Published Online Date: 2011-02-01
Authors: French, David P.
Cooke, Richard (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-0476-6284)



Version: Draft Version

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