Contribution of the Five Factors of Personality and Peers on Adolescent Alcohol Use: A Cross-National Study

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Gallego, Sígrid
Mezquita, Laura
Moya Higueras, JorgeMoya Higueras, Jorge - ORCID ID
Ortet i Fabregat, Generós
Ibáñez, ManuelIbáñez, Manuel - ORCID ID
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Personality characteristics such as extraversion, low agreeableness and low conscientiousness are relevant for alcohol use during adolescence. In addition, having friends who use alcohol is one of the strongest predictors of adolescent alcohol consumption and its negative outcomes. The selection model posits that friends display similar alcohol consumption when their friendships are formed on the basis of common characteristics as, among others, personality. Thus, the aim of this study was to examine the mediation role of peers in the association between the five-factor model of personality and adolescent alcohol use in two cultures. One hundred and twenty Scottish and 221 Spanish respondents, all aged 12-15 years, answered the Alcohol Intake Scale (AIS). Adolescents were asked about the alcohol used at the weekend and also about the alcohol consumed by their friends. Scottish adolescents' personality was measured by the NEO Personality Inventory-3 (NEO-PI-3). The Junior Spanish version of the Revised NEO Personality Inventory (JS NEO) was used to assess personality in the Spanish sample. Low agreeableness and low conscientiousness correlated with own alcohol quantity in both countries. We performed an independent structural equation modeling for each country. Extraversion (β = .205, p < .05) and low agreeableness (β = -.196, p < .01) for Scottish adolescents, and low conscientiousness (β = -.175, p < .05) for Spanish youths, predicted alcohol use through peer alcohol consumption at weekends. These findings support the relevance of personality traits and peer affiliation in relation to alcohol consumption in adolescence.
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Spanish Journal of Psychology, 2018, vol. 21, núm. e58, p. 1-9