To use or not to use? - The relationship between positive and negative expectations with the intention to continue the use of alcohol and XTC
Horst, M. van der
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Emerging adulthood (18 – 25 years old) is a period of many changes. The use of alcohol and drugs is normalized and access to these substances increases, which leads to more opportunities to use drugs (Arria et al., 2013). Therefore, this study investigated how positive and negative expectations are related to the intention to use alcohol or XTC and if this relation is moderated by the use of other drugs. The cross-sectional Drug Use Personas (DUP) dataset with 3264 participants (Mage = 21.140 years, SD = 1.910 years, 73.7% women) is used to answer these questions. Positive expectations were found to have a significant positive relation with intention to use alcohol as well as XTC and negative expectations were negatively related to intention to use both substances. For both substances, the expected positive relation of the use of other drugs on the relations between expectations and intention was not found to be significant. In conclusion, though there are negative expectations for using alcohol and XTC, positive expectations also play an important role in the future intention to use. As such, it is important in future research and interventions to focus on the role of positive expectations as well.