Cross-cultural generalizability of a cusp catastrophe model for binge drinking among college students.Nonlinear Dynamics Psychol Life Sci 2008; 12(4):397-407ND
We examined whether a cusp catastrophe model for binge alcohol consumption by college students that was reported earlier (Smerz & Guastello, 2008) could generalize to another culture. Participants were 130 undergraduates enrolled in economics courses at a private urban Japanese university. They completed the same questionnaire items that were used in the previous US study. For some analyses, a stratified random subsample was taken from the earlier US data that was comparable in number, age, and gender proportions (N = 132). Results for the combined sample showed essentially the same results that were obtained from the US sample: Binge drinking can be modeled as a cusp catastrophe with two stable states of behavior - low to moderate consumption and binge level consumption. The two control parameters were peer influence (bifurcation) and attitude toward alcohol use (asymmetry). The nonlinear models (average R2 = .74) accounted for considerably more variance in binge drinking and other alcohol consumption indices than the comparison linear models (average r2 = .18). There were some subtle differences between the two samples of students, however.