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Smoking and Alcohol Initiation

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Identifier:
First received: January 3, 2006
Last updated: January 10, 2017
Last verified: December 2008

This study evaluates multi-attribute utility, a modification of subjective expected utility, as a descriptive model of the adolescent's decision to initiate smoking or alcohol use. According to the model, the young decision maker envisions a set of consequences that will follow the two decision options, either to continue as a non-user or to initiate usage. Each consequence has three components. The components are the worth of the consequence, which may be positive or negative, the judged likelihood that the consequence will happen, and the importance of the consequence. Within an individual, importances will change with mood or circumstance, which is how the model accounts for impulsive decisions that may occur in social settings.

The model will be tested by eliciting components of ten independent consequences from a large group of students early in the seventh-grade year. Current usage will also be examined; extant data suggest that most students will be non-users at that time. It is known that a fair amount of initiation takes place during the seventh and eighth grade years. The hypothesis is that those non-users whose model scores are high will be more likely to initiate usage than those whose scores are low. The same students will be queried regarding usage eighteen months later to evaluate the hypothesis.

It is now well known that differential knowledge regarding the harmful effects of drug use does not distinguish adolescent users from non-users. The model approach quantifies the idea that anticipated positive consequences play a prominent role in the decision of those who choose to initiate. An important implication is that prevention campaigns might profit by addressing positive as well as negative consequences of usage.

Condition Phase
Smoking Alcohol Drinking Phase 1

Study Type: Observational
Study Design: Time Perspective: Prospective
Official Title: Predicting Tobacco and Alcohol Initiation

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA):

Estimated Enrollment: 2600
Study Start Date: October 2005
Study Completion Date: June 2010
Primary Completion Date: June 2010 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Detailed Description:
A book entitled "A science of decision making: the legacy of Ward Edwards" and 4 chapters were published (Oxford University Press, 2008) with the support of this funding.

Ages Eligible for Study:   11 Years to 15 Years   (Child)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All

Inclusion Criteria:

  • enrolled middle school students

Exclusion Criteria:

  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00271843

United States, California
California State University
Fullerton, California, United States, 92834
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Principal Investigator: Jie W. Weiss, Ph.D. California State University, Fullerton
  More Information

Weiss, J. W., & Weiss, D. J. (Eds.) (in press). The essential Ward Edwards. New York: Oxford University Press.
Weiss, J. W., & Edwards, W., Mouttapa, M. (in press). The puzzle of adolescent substance initiation. In J. W. Weiss & D. J. Weiss (Eds). The essential Ward Edwards. New York: Oxford University Press.
Weiss, J. W., Weiss, D. J., & Edwards, W. (in press). Big decisions, little decisions: The hierarchy of everyday life. In J. W. Weiss & D. J. Weiss (Eds). The essential Ward Edwards. New York: Oxford University Press. Identifier: NCT00271843     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 1R21DA019916-01 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
Study First Received: January 3, 2006
Last Updated: January 10, 2017

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Alcohol Drinking
Drinking Behavior processed this record on August 18, 2017