This trial has been completed.

Conditions smoking, alcohol drinking
Phase phase 1
Sponsor National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Start date October 2005
End date June 2010
Trial size 2600 participants
Trial identifier NCT00271843, 1R21DA019916-01


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.

United States No locations recruiting
Other countries No locations recruiting

Study Design

Time perspective prospective

Eligibility Criteria

Male or female participants from 11 years up to 15 years old.

Inclusion Criteria: - enrolled middle school students Exclusion Criteria:

Additional Information

Official title Predicting Tobacco and Alcohol Initiation
Principal investigator Jie W. Weiss, Ph.D.
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.
Trial information was received from ClinicalTrials.gov and was last updated in January 2017.
Information provided to ClinicalTrials.gov by National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).