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Clin Psychol Rev. 2005 Nov;25(7):841-61.

Why do young people drink? A review of drinking motives.

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Research Department, Swiss Institute for the Prevention of Alcohol and Drug Problems (SIPA), PO Box 870, 1001 Lausanne, Switzerland.


This article reviews evidence of adolescent and young adult drinking motives and their relation to possible consequences over the last 15 years. To this end, a computer-assisted search of relevant articles was conducted. Results revealed that most young people reported drinking for social motives, some indicated enhancement motives, and only a few reported coping motives. Social motives appear to be associated with moderate alcohol use, enhancement with heavy drinking, and coping motives with alcohol-related problems. However, an enormous heterogeneity was found in terms of how motives were measured: 10 to 40 items were grouped into between 2 and 10 dimensions and sometimes the same items occurred under different dimensions. Future studies should therefore use well-defined, theoretically based, homogenous instruments to disentangle cultural from measurement differences across surveys.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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