Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy. 2014 Jan 22;9:5. doi: 10.1186/1747-597X-9-5.

A comparison of the responsible drinking dimensions among underage and legal drinkers: examining differences in beliefs, motives, self-efficacy, barriers and intentions.

Author information

Department of Health Education & Behavior, University of Florida, P,O, Box 118210, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA.



To date, scholarly discourse over the Amethyst Initiative has primarily debated the relative effectiveness of the 21 year-old Minimum Legal Drinking Age (MLDA). Unfortunately, this discourse has failed to account for the Amethyst Initiative's central tenet/mission: facilitating responsible drinking among college students. This investigation seeks to help fill this gap by quantitatively determining whether a random sample of underage (n = 158) and legal (n = 298) drinkers differed with regard to their alcohol-related behaviors, responsible drinking behaviors, and responsible drinking beliefs.


Compared to legal drinkers, underage drinkers reported: (a) significantly less confidence to perform responsible drinking behaviors during their next drinking episode [t(446) = -2.97, p < .003; d = -0.297], (b) significantly more perceived barriers to responsible drinking [t(388) = 3.44, p < .001; d = .368], and (c) significantly lower behavioral intentions to perform responsible drinking behaviors the next time they consumed alcohol [t(437) = -3.45, p < .001; d = -0.350]. Each of these differences remained statistically significant, even after controlling for sex and race, in three separate multiple linear regression models.


While college students both above and below the 21 year-old MLDA have similar beliefs regarding what constitutes responsible drinking, students below the current MLDA have less intention to drink responsibly regardless of their behavioral beliefs and/or motives. College/university administrators should consider the negative repercussions that are possible if underage students who are less confident in their ability to drink responsibly are given the legal right to drink on campus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for BioMed Central Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center