Problem Behavior Theory and Adolescent Alcohol Use

Published in: Addictive Behaviors, v. 12, no. 2, 1987, p. 189-193

by Ron D. Hays, Alan W. Stacy, M. Robin DiMatteo

Read More

Access further information on this document at

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

The prevalence of adolescent alcohol use has prompted interest in identifying the factors associated with its use. A comprehensive theory that provides a framework for understanding alcohol use is Jessor and Jessor's Problem Behavior Theory (PBT). The authors adopted PBT in a study of alcohol use among 226 Catholic high school students. PBT explained 38% of the variation in quantity-frequency of alcohol use and 31% of the variation in problem drinking. The three major systems (personality, perceived environment, behavioral) of the theory were about equally predictive of alcohol use.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.