The prototype willingness model (PWM; Gerrard et al., 2008) is a modified dual-processing model designed to improve the predictive value of existing health risk behavior by suggesting that there are two pathways to health risk behaviors: a reasoned path that is mediated by behavioral intention and a social reaction path that is mediated by behavioral willingness. Although there is evidence supporting the social reaction path to risk behavior among adolescents, most of this work has focused on specific components of the pathway such as prototypes or willingness rather than looking at the entire social reaction pathway as a whole. As such, the primary goal of the present study was to determine whether the social reaction pathway has acceptable fit for a sample of adolescents using a longitudinal design. Results from 835 adolescents support the social reaction pathway of the PWM model when applied to adolescent alcohol use. Specifically, prototypes, perceived vulnerability, and norms predicted willingness to drink, which in turn predicted drinking behavior (drinks per week and peak number of drinks) over a period of 12 months. As such, these findings suggest that the social reaction pathway of the PWM is applicable to adolescent drinkers, meaning that adolescent drinking behavior is based on a less planned and socially based decision process.
- Prototype willingness model