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Psychol Addict Behav. 2009 Dec;23(4):564-76. doi: 10.1037/a0017331.

Academic and social motives and drinking behavior.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, USA.


This longitudinal study of 1,447 first-time college students tested separate time-varying covariate models of the relations between academic and social motives/behaviors and alcohol use and related problems from senior year of high school through the end of the second year in college. Structural equation models identified small but significant inverse relations between academic motives/behaviors and alcohol use across all time points, with relations of somewhat larger magnitude between academic motives/behaviors and alcohol-related problems across all semesters other than senior year in high school. At all time points, there were much larger positive relations between social motives/behaviors and alcohol use across all semesters, with smaller but significant relations between social motives/behaviors and alcohol-related problems. Multi-group models found considerable consistency in the relations between motives/behaviors and alcohol-related outcomes across gender, race/ethnicity, and family history of alcohol problems, although academic motives/behaviors played a stronger protective role for women, and social motives were a more robust risk factor for Caucasian and Latino students and individuals with a positive family history of alcohol problems. Implications for alcohol prevention efforts among college students are discussed.

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