Exploring the factor structure of a new self- and other-oriented alcohol expectancy scale relating to sexual coercion and vulnerability

Starfelt, Louise Charlotte, Young, Ross McD., White, Katherine M., & Palk, Gavan R. (2013) Exploring the factor structure of a new self- and other-oriented alcohol expectancy scale relating to sexual coercion and vulnerability. In The Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs Scientific Conference, 24-27 November 2013, Brisbane, Australia. (Unpublished)


Introduction and Aim: Sexual assaults commonly involve alcohol use by the perpetrator, victim, or both. Beliefs about alcohol’s effects may impact on people’s perceptions of and responses to men and women who have had such experiences while intoxicated from alcohol. This study aimed to develop an alcohol expectancy scale that captures young adults’ beliefs about alcohol’s role in sexual aggression and victimisation.

Design and Methods: Based on pilot focus groups, an initial pool of 135 alcohol expectancy items was developed, checked for readability and face validity, and administered via a cross-sectional survey to 201 male and female university students (18-25 years). Items were specified in terms of three target drinkers: self, men, and women. In addition, a social desirability measure was included.

Results: Principal Axis Factoring revealed a 4-factor solution for the targets men and women and a 5-factor solution for the target self with 72 items retained. Factors related to sexual coercion, sexual vulnerability, confidence, self-centredness, and negative cognitive and behavioural effects. Social desirability issues were evident for the target self, but not for the targets men and women.

Discussion and Conclusions: Young adults link alcohol’s effects with sexual vulnerabilities via perceived risky cognitions and behaviours. Due to social desirability, these expectancies may be difficult to explicate for the self but may be accessible instead via other-oriented assessment. The Sexual Coercion and Vulnerability Alcohol Expectancy Scale has potential as a tool to elucidate the established tendency for observers to excuse intoxicated sexual perpetrators while blaming intoxicated victims.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 72890
Item Type: Conference Item (Poster)
Refereed: No
Additional Information: Louise Starfelt is the maiden name of Louise Starfelt Sutton
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Alcohol expectancy, Scale development, Sexual assault
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Please consult the authors
Deposited On: 18 Jun 2014 22:40
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2016 06:06

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