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The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10802-014-9969-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
The robust correlation between peer and adolescent alcohol use (AU) has been taken as evidence for both socialization and selection processes in the etiology of adolescent AU. Accumulating evidence from studies using a diverse range of methodological and statistical approaches suggests that both processes are involved. A major challenge in testing whether peer AU predicts an adolescent’s drinking (socialization) or whether an adolescent’s drinking predicts peer AU (selection) is the myriad of potentially confounding factors that might lead to an overestimation of socialization and selection effects. After creating AU transition groups based on peer and adolescent AU across two waves (N = 765; age = 10–15; 53 % female), we test whether transitions into AU by adolescents and peers predict later peer and adolescent AU respectively, using (1) propensity score analysis to balance transition groups on 26 potential confounds, (2) a longitudinal design with three waves to establish temporal precedence, and (3) both adolescent (target) and peer self-report of peer AU to disentangle effects attributable to shared reporter bias. Both selection and socialization were supported using both peer self-report of AU and adolescent-report of peer AU. Although cross-sectional analyses suggested peer self-reported models were associated with smaller effects than perceived peer AU, longitudinal analyses suggest a similar sized effect across reporter of peer AU for both selection and socialization. The implications of these findings for the etiology and treatment of adolescent AU are discussed.
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- Selection and Socialization Effects in Early Adolescent Alcohol Use: A Propensity Score Analysis
Matthew D. Scalco
Elisa M. Trucco
Donna L. Coffman
Craig R. Colder
- Springer US