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Addict Behav. 2013 Dec;38(12):2930-6. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2013.08.021. Epub 2013 Aug 29.

Sport-related achievement motivation and alcohol outcomes: an athlete-specific risk factor among intercollegiate athletes.

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Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, 150 Psychology Building, 200 S. 7th St., Columbia, MO 65211, USA. Electronic address:


Intercollegiate athletes report greater alcohol consumption and more alcohol-related problems than their non-athlete peers. Although college athletes share many of the same problems faced by non-athletes, there are some consequences that are unique to athletes. Studies have demonstrated that alcohol negatively affects athletic performance including increased dehydration, impeded muscle recovery, and increased risk for injury. Beyond risk factors for alcohol misuse that may affect college students in general, research has begun to examine risk factors that are unique to collegiate athletes. For example, research has found that off-season status, the leadership role, and athlete-specific drinking motives are associated with increased alcohol use. Given these findings, it is possible that other athlete-specific variables influence alcohol misuse. One such variable may be sport achievement orientation. The purpose of the current study was to examine the relationship between sport achievement orientation and alcohol outcomes. Given previous research regarding seasonal status and gender, these variables were examined as moderators. Varsity athletes (n=263) completed the Sport Orientation Questionnaire, which assesses sport-related achievement orientation on three scales (Competitiveness, Win Orientation, and Goal Orientation). In addition, participants completed measures of alcohol use and alcohol-related problems. Results indicated that Competitiveness, Win Orientation, and Goal Orientation were all significantly associated with alcohol use, but not alcohol-related problems. Moreover, these relationships were moderated by seasonal status and gender. These interactions, clinical implications, and limitations are discussed.


Alcohol use; College athletes; Gender; Seasonal status; Sport-related achievement motivation

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