Titolo della tesi: SOCIO-COGNITIVE DETERMINANTS OF SUBSTANCE USE AND ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOURS
This dissertation analyses the effects of self-efficacy and moral disengagement mechanisms on antisocial and substances use behaviours. The Social Cognitive Theory bases the entire thesis. So, behaviours, sociocognitive factors, and social influences interact in the three studies. Additionally, it highlights the human and moral agency in managing risk behaviours. Different methodological perspectives were used to synthesize the background knowledge, predict, and finally propose an explanatory model of the antisocial and substance use behaviours.
The first study (Chapter II) summarizes the association between refusal (or resistance, or self-regulatory) self-efficacy and alcohol use, binge drinking, and alcohol-related problems. A total of 67 studies (74 samples) were synthesized. A negative association was found between refusal self-efficacy and frequency, quantity, quantity-frequency index alcohol consumption, binge drinking and alcohol-related problems. In addition, moderating effects of age on the relationship between self-efficacy and quantity of alcohol consumption was found.
For the second and third studies, data collected at time 1 of the CEPIDEA project to promote adolescents' prosocial behaviours and emotional regulation skills were used. The sample consisted of 879 students (M = 12.7 years; 55.6% men) attending seventh grade from three cities in Colombia and their parents (N = 734).
The second study (Chapter III) focused on antisocial behaviour in Colombian adolescents, highlighting the role of the classroom as a shared space for interaction and influence and moral disengagement as a cognitive mechanism that has predictive value in antisocial behaviour. A multilevel modelling approach was employed to explain the antisocial behaviours by moral disengagement mechanisms at the individual and collective level, the effects of the classroom composition (SES and age), the teacher-student relationship and the interdependence between the student and their classroom. It was found that moral disengagement both at the classroom's individual and collective levels predicts antisocial behaviour. In addition, effects of classroom composition by age and socioeconomic status were also found. The effects of the teacher-student relationship on antisocial behaviour in the model were not significant.
The third study (Chapter IV) aims to explain the relationships between three dimensions of self-efficacy relevant in the school context (academic, social, and regulatory) and adolescents' antisocial and substance use behaviours through the mediation of moral disengagement and affiliation with deviant peers. The Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) approach was used to evaluate a multiple mediation model. The main results showed a significant serial mediating effect of moral disengagement and deviant peers between academic self-efficacy and antisocial behaviours and substance use. Likewise, the results showed a significant mediation effect of affiliation with deviant peers in the relationship between social self-efficacy and antisocial and substance use behaviours.
The findings of this thesis contribute to systematizing our knowledge about the role of cognitive mechanisms in regulating antisocial behaviours. They also expand knowledge about the interdependence between the individual and the classroom context in exercising moral agency during adolescence. Additionally, the results contribute to the cross-cultural validity of Bandura's Social Cognitive Theory and constitute an input for future intervention proposals.