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What do the little ones know? Alcohol knowledge and expectancies among preschoolers

English title What do the little ones know? Alcohol knowledge and expectancies among preschoolers
Applicant Kuntsche Emmanuel
Number 140294
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Sucht Schweiz
Institution of higher education Non-profit organisations (libraries, museums, foundations) and administration - NPO
Main discipline Psychology
Start/End 01.04.2012 - 31.03.2014
Approved amount 212'587.00
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All Disciplines (4)

Discipline
Psychology
Addictive Diseases
Health Education
Social Paediatrics

Keywords (5)

Berkeley Puppet Interview; Alcohol-related knowledge; Appropriate Beverage Task; Alcohol outcome expectancies; Preschool children

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
While there is ample evidence on risky drinking in adolescence and beyond, authors argue that factors shaping this behavior are rooted much earlier, i.e. in childhood. Unfortunately, empirical evidence on children’s alcohol knowledge is still scarce and comes exclusively from the US, a country with a drinking culture that is quite different from those found in Europe. Even less is known about alcohol expectancies early in life (i.e. among 4-6-year olds) because the development of innovative methodologies is needed to assess alcohol-related cognition in a reliable and valid way in such a young age group. Moreover, it is still unclear to what degree alcohol knowledge and expectancies of young children are interrelated and whether both depend on the drinking habits and expectancies of parents. The study aims to realize three general goals. First, it will focus on the alcohol-related knowledge of 4-6-year olds in French-speaking Switzerland. Second, it will investigate what kind of alcohol expectancies preschoolers hold and how these are linked to alcohol-related knowledge and parental drinking habits and expectancies. Third, it will test determinants of preschoolers’ alcohol expectancies such as preschoolers’ alcohol-related knowledge, drinking habits and expectancies of parents, and television viewing patterns. Three different data collection methods will be applied within a multiple informant approach. First, the parents’ questionnaire will be used to assess aspects of the family life and characteristics of both parents (where possible). Second, during preschool appointments, the child will be asked to participate in an Appropriate Beverage Task (ABT: Zucker et al., 1995). Second, expectancy items will be included in the parents’ questionnaire and administered to the 4-6-year olds by means of the Berkeley Puppet Interview (BPI: Measelle et al., 1998). To conduct the ABT and the BPI, 44 classes will be sampled randomly from the body of 1,467 preschool classes in the canton Vaud, which will guarantee cantonal representativeness of the results to be obtained. With these innovative methodological features, the proposed study is likely to provide unique insights into the important precursors and predictors of alcohol use in adolescence and later in life. This is particularly important because alcohol-related knowledge and outcome expectancies in childhood have been shown to determine drinking levels several years later. Moreover, unlike previous studies that have separately investigated either alcohol knowledge and outcome expectancies later in childhood, the proposed study will be unique in investigating the interrelationships of both concepts among 4-6-year olds. In addition, the proposed study will enable data to be gathered on the degree to which positive and negative expectancies of young children correspond to those of their mother and father. Experts in Switzerland have stressed that prevention should start early. In this respect, the proposed study will provide important indications for primary prevention. Based on the results to be obtained, it will be possible to decide what preschoolers in Switzerland already know about alcohol and if they already have alcohol outcome expectancies, which will provide important indications as to whether or not it is necessary to focus alcohol prevention at such an early age. In this way, the proposed study will provide indications to advice parents and inform prevention specialists about the possible effects of alcohol consumption in children’s social environment.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Do grown-ups become happy when they drink ?
Kuntsche Emmanuel (2017), Do grown-ups become happy when they drink ?, in Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 25(1), 24-30.
Was kleine Kinder über Alkoholkonsum wissen
Kuntsche E. (2016), Was kleine Kinder über Alkoholkonsum wissen, in Fazit Suchtmagazin, 42(4), 43-44.
What do preschoolers know about alcohol? Evidence from the electronic Appropriate Beverage Task
Kuntsche E., Le Mével L., Zucker R.A. (2016), What do preschoolers know about alcohol? Evidence from the electronic Appropriate Beverage Task, in Addictive Behaviors, 61, 47-52.
What do preschoolers know about alcohol? Evidence from the electronic version of the Appropriate Beverage Task (eABT)
Kuntsche E. Le Mével L. & Zucker R. A. (2014), What do preschoolers know about alcohol? Evidence from the electronic version of the Appropriate Beverage Task (eABT), in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 38s1, 120A-120A.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Prof. Dr. Robert A. Zucker, Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, University of Michigan United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Lisanne Stone, BSI, Radboud University Nijmegen Netherlands (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
37th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism Poster What do preschoolers know about alcohol? Evidence from the electronic version of the appropriate beverage task 21.06.2015 Bellevue, WA, United States of America Kuntsche Emmanuel; Le Mével Lydie;
9th International Congress of Addictiology ALBATROS Talk given at a conference What do preschoolers know about alcohol and where does this knowledge come from? 11.06.2015 Paris, France Kuntsche Emmanuel;
41th Annual Alcohol Epidemiology Symposium of the Kettil Bruun Society for Social and Epidemiological Research on Alcohol Talk given at a conference "Do the grown-ups get happy when they drink?" Alcohol expectancies among preschoolers 02.06.2015 Munich, Germany Le Mével Lydie; Kuntsche Emmanuel;
5th Annual Thematic Meeting on Addictions Talk given at a conference What do preschoolers know about alcohol and where does this knowledge come from? 23.09.2014 Utrecht, Netherlands Kuntsche Emmanuel; Le Mével Lydie;
37th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism Poster What do preschoolers know about alcohol? Evidence from the electronic version of the appropriate beverage task 22.06.2014 Bellevue, United States of America Le Mével Lydie; Kuntsche Emmanuel;
40th Annual Alcohol Epidemiology Symposium of the Kettil Bruun Society for Social and Epidemiological Research on Alcohol Talk given at a conference What do preschoolers know about alcohol and where does this knowledge come from? 09.06.2014 Torino, Italy Le Mével Lydie; Kuntsche Emmanuel;
Swiss Addiction Research Day VI Talk given at a conference What do the little ones know? Alcohol-related knowledge and alcohol expectancies among preschoolers in French-speaking Switzerland 13.09.2013 Montreux, Switzerland Le Mével Lydie; Kuntsche Emmanuel;


Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
Alcohol knowledge and expectancies among preschoolers Talk 01.11.2016 Colloque de la Section d'Addictologie, Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV), Switzerland Kuntsche Emmanuel;
Erlernen von Alkoholkonsum im Jugendalter une die Bedeutung von Rollenmodellen (Uptake of alcohol consumption in adolescence and the importance of role models) Talk 01.10.2016 Fachtagung für österreichische Suchtpräventionsfachkräfte, Stainz, Austria Kuntsche Emmanuel;
Fachstelle für Suchtprävention Schwalm-Eder-Kreis Talk 01.10.2015 Borken, Germany Kuntsche Emmanuel;
Netzwerktreffen der Hessischen Landesstelle für Suchtfragen Talk 01.11.2014 Frankfurt am Main, Germany Kuntsche Emmanuel;
Kolloquium des Instituts für Sucht- und Gesundheitsforschung (ISGF) Talk 05.05.2014 Zürich, Switzerland Kuntsche Emmanuel;
Winter Meeting of the International Council on Alcohol and Addictions (ICAA) Talk 18.02.2014 Lausanne, Switzerland Kuntsche Emmanuel;
16. Wissenschaftliche Gespräch der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Suchtforschung und Suchttherapie (DG-Sucht e.V.) Talk 17.04.2013 Tutzing, Germany Kuntsche Emmanuel;


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
113862 The role of family relations and peer associations in the link between excessively drinking siblings and indiviual alcohol use 01.10.2006 Project funding (Div. I-III)
129570 Why drink? Predictive value of drinking motives in taste-rating experiments 01.05.2010 Project funding (Div. I-III)
105481 Drinking motives, alcohol use, and related problems among adolescents (MAUPA) 01.10.2004 Project funding (special)

Abstract

Current state of research: Alcohol use is a major individual and public health burden. While there is ample evidence on risky drinking in adolescence and beyond, authors argue that factors shaping this behavior are rooted much earlier, i.e. in childhood. Unfortunately, empirical evidence on children’s alcohol knowledge is still scarce and comes exclusively from the US, a country with a drinking culture that is quite different from those found in Europe. Even less is known about alcohol expectancies early in life (i.e. among 4-6-year olds) because the development of innovative methodologies is needed to assess alcohol-related cognition in a reliable and valid way in such a young age group. Moreover, it is still unclear to what degree alcohol knowledge and expectancies of young children are interrelated and whether both depend on the drinking habits and expectancies of parents.Objectives: By addressing 15 specific hypotheses, the proposed study aims to realize three general goals. First, it will focus on the alcohol-related knowledge of 4-6-year olds in French-speaking Switzerland (Goal 1; four hypotheses). Second, it will investigate what kind of alcohol expectancies preschoolers hold and how these are linked to alcohol-related knowledge and parental drinking habits and expectancies (Goal 2; four hypotheses). Third, it will test determinants of preschoolers’ alcohol expectancies such as preschoolers’ alcohol-related knowledge, drinking habits and expectancies of parents, and television viewing patterns (Goal 3; seven hypotheses).Methods of data collection: Three different data collection methods will be applied within a multiple informant approach. First, the parents’ questionnaire will be used to assess aspects of the family life and characteristics of both parents (where possible). Second, during preschool appointments, the child will be asked to participate in an Appropriate Beverage Task (ABT: Zucker et al., 1995). Second, expectancy items will be included in the parents’ questionnaire and administered to the 4-6-year olds by means of the Berkeley Puppet Interview (BPI: Measelle et al., 1998). To conduct the ABT and the BPI, 44 classes will be sampled randomly from the body of 1,467 preschool classes in the canton Vaud, which will guarantee cantonal representativeness of the results to be obtained.Expected value: With its innovative methodological features, the proposed study is likely to provide unique insights into the important precursors and predictors of alcohol use in adolescence and later in life. This is particularly important because alcohol-related knowledge and outcome expectancies in childhood have been shown to determine drinking levels several years later. Moreover, unlike previous studies that have separately investigated either alcohol knowledge and outcome expectancies later in childhood, the proposed study will be unique in investigating the interrelationships of both concepts among 4-6-year olds. In addition, the proposed study will enable data to be gathered on the degree to which positive and negative expectancies of young children correspond to those of their mother and father. By doing so, important information will be gathered indicating to what degree alcohol-related cognitions are created by vicarious learning early in life. Experts in Switzerland have stressed that prevention should start early. In this respect, the proposed study will provide important indications for primary prevention. Based on the results to be obtained, it will be possible to decide what preschoolers in Switzerland already know about alcohol and if they already have alcohol outcome expectancies, which will provide important indications as to whether or not it is necessary to focus alcohol prevention at such an early age. In this way, the proposed study will provide unique indications to advice parents and inform prevention specialists about the possible effects of alcohol consumption in children’s social environment.Dissemination strategies: Three articles will be published in international peer-reviewed journals and the findings will also be presented to an international audience at a scientific conference. It is also our firm intention to inform the schools and the general public of the study’s findings by means of brochures and press releases.
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