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ERIC Number: ED532282
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 91
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1248-3086-5
An Event-Level Analysis of Drinking Behaviors in College Freshmen
Ray, Anne Elizabeth
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Pennsylvania State University
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that alcohol use is the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States and results in approximately 79,000 deaths annually. College students are at particular risk of alcohol-related consequences due to their heavy drinking tendencies, with multiple studies indicating over 40% of students engage in the practice of binge drinking. Although there have been some promising findings with respect to programs that serve to reduce alcohol use and limit associated harm, researchers note the pressing need for the continued examination of etiological variables that can improve prevention efforts. Two important predictors of drinking outcomes identified in both the etiological and prevention literature are protective and risk behaviors students engage in while drinking. Although associations between drinking-related protective and risk behaviors and drinking outcomes have been well studied on their own, there is a lack of research examining how both types of behaviors operate collectively. Further, these variables are often assessed globally, such that students are asked to report their typical, or average use of these behaviors. Thus, it is unclear as to what types of protective and risk behaviors are most influential of drinking outcomes, whether these associations are consistent across multiple drinking events, and whether the use of these variables is consistent from one drinking event to the next. Accordingly, there were three aims of the dissertation: (1) to examine the collective influence of individual drinking-related protective and risk behaviors on alcohol use and related consequences using a global assessment, (2) to examine the stability of drinking-related protective and risk behaviors over time, as well as relationships between these variables, alcohol use, and related consequences using an event-level assessment, and (3) to examine whether gender differences exist in the use of protective and risk behaviors over time. Several findings emerged from the current study. Results of the global analysis revealed pacing protective behaviors, and drinking to get drunk, mixing, and mass consumption risk behaviors accounted for significant, unique variance in drinking outcomes. Results of the event-level analysis revealed that use of individual protective and risk behavior constructs were stable over time, however the associations between individual protective and risk behavior constructs, alcohol use, and consequences varied. Finally, results of the test for gender differences indicated that use of protective and risk behaviors over time was equivalent between males and females, with the exception of social protective behaviors and drinking to get drunk risk behaviors. Findings reinforce the importance of including components in prevention programs that aim to increase the use protective behaviors and decrease the use of risk behaviors, and also highlight the need for additional research that examines context-specific predictors of these constructs. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States