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NCJ Number: 201576 Find in a Library
Title: Stress and Drinking Context in College First Offenders
Journal: Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education  Volume:47  Issue:1  Dated:Fall 2001  Pages:4-18
Author(s): Thomas O'Hare Ph.D.
Date Published: 2001
Page Count: 15
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study of 505 college students cited for underage drinking examined the relationships among self-reported stress, drinking-related problems (socio-emotional and community-related), and gender in three drinking contexts (convivial, intimate, and negative coping).
Abstract: The sample of undergraduate students at the University of Rhode Island responded to an anonymous questionnaire consecutively between September 1997 and December 1998 as part of an adjudication process after having been cited by campus authorities for violating university rules regarding under-age drinking or the use of illicit drugs. Subjects were administered the Drinking Context Scale, which measured the three separate drinking contexts; the SSPI-R, which is a self-reported indicator of stress related to psychological, physiological, and social factors; and the College Alcohol Problem Scale, which measured factors related to alcohol abuse. To examine the independent and collective predictive value of stress, drinking problems, gender, and their interactions with the three drinking contexts, three regression models were analyzed. The study found that stress was a significant independent predictor of excessive drinking in convivial and intimate drinking circumstances, but not when drinking to cope with negative emotions; however, the additive interaction effect of stress and self-reported socio-emotional drinking problems did significantly predict drinking excessively when coping with negative emotions. Men who reported greater stress were more likely to drink to cope with negative emotions. Unexpected results included the finding that stress interacted with community problems to predict excessive drinking in both convivial and intimate drinking contexts. Overall, the direct relationship between stress and excessive drinking in both positive social circumstances as well as when coping with negative emotions was supported in this study, reflecting similar findings in the literature; however, these data reflect clear differences in the relationship between stress and different drinking contexts. Implications are drawn for prevention, with attention to the targeting of "at-risk" students with more direct problem-focused intervention, using cognitive-behavioral strategies to reduce some of the more distressing psychological, interpersonal, and community problems associated with youthful drinking. 2 tables and 45 references
Main Term(s): Underage Drinking
Index Term(s): Alcohol abuse prevention; Alcoholism causes; Behavior under stress; Campus alcohol abuse; Stress assessment; Stress management
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