Drinking motives and use of protective behavioral strategies in an ethnically diverse sample of undergraduate students.



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College students often endorse greater alcohol consumption and increased likelihood of experiencing negative alcohol-related consequences, particularly ethnic minority youth. Protective Behavioral Strategies (PBS) can be used to offset these harmful effects and include stopping/limiting drinking, manner of drinking, and harm reduction. In addition to these strategies, four drinking motives may account for the amount and frequency of alcohol consumption: enhancement, social, coping, and conformity. Further, demographic variables, such as race and ethnicity or sex, may interact with motives and PBS to predict alcohol use among students. This study found motives and PBS varied by race, as did amount consumed, and racial differences were present within sex groups. Results included significant correlations between motives and PBS; positive motives (i.e., enhancement and social) and coping were associated with less PBS use, while the conformity motive was associated with increased PBS use. Further, regression analyses revealed main effects of coping and enhancement on alcohol use and main effects of coping and conformity on number of consequences. Other significant findings are presented which may potentially inform interventions designed to target at-risk and often neglected populations, particularly Hispanic/Latino and other minority youth, who may benefit from learning skills which may prove useful throughout the lifespan.



Alcohol use, Drinking motives, Protective behavioral strategies, Alcohol-related consequences