Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Examination of the interaction of drinking motives and personality on alcohol use and alcohol-related problems among college students
by Martin, Jessica L., Ph.D., State University of New York at Albany, 2011, 156; 3464655
Abstract (Summary)

Approximately 55% of U.S. college students report binge drinking at least once in the previous two weeks (Core Institute, 2006). Students who engage in binge drinking are more likely to experience academic, social and legal problems as a result of their drinking (e.g., Wechsler et al., 2002). It is important for researchers to investigate factors associated with alcohol use and related problems so that prevention and intervention efforts can be targeted toward those students most at-risk for heavy consumption and alcohol-related problems.

Research has shown that personality factors and drinking motives are associated with alcohol use and alcohol-related problems. Some studies suggest that drinking motives mediate the relationship between personality and alcohol use and alcohol-related problems (e.g. Kuntsche et al., 2008). The specific combinations of personality factors and drinking motives examined vary widely and findings have been mixed. The lack of consistency in results may be explained in part by personality theorists who propose that personality factors and motives interact to predict behavior (McAdams, 1995; McClelland, 1951).

The present study investigated whether four drinking motives (enhancement, social, coping, and conformity) moderated the relationship between four personality factors (extraversion, neuroticism and the impulsivity-related traits of trait urgency and sensation seeking), and alcohol use and alcohol-related problems among a sample of 181 college students. Results indicated that for alcohol use there were main effects for coping motives, social motives, enhancement motives, and extraversion. Main effects for alcohol-related problems were found for coping motives, enhancement motives, conformity motives, and trait urgency. No statistically significant interaction effects were found.

It appears that both personality characteristics and drinking motives play important, yet distinct roles in predicting alcohol use and alcohol-related problems among college students. It is also possible that the best way to conceptualize the relationships among personality, drinking motives, and alcohol use and alcohol-related problems is through a mediated model as proposed by previous researchers. Findings suggest that prevention and intervention programs should address both personality factors and drinking motives to most effectively help students reduce their alcohol consumption and minimize harmful consequences that can result from drinking.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Martens, Matthew P., Jome, LaRae M.
Commitee: Pieterse, Alex L.
School: State University of New York at Albany
Department: Counseling Psychology
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-B 72/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Counseling Psychology, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Alcohol, Alcohol-related problems, College students, Drinking motives, Personality
Publication Number: 3464655
ISBN: 9781124810171