Descriptive normative beliefs and the self-regulation in alcohol use among Slovak university students

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Abstract

Aim

This study aims (i) to understand how descriptive normative beliefs (DNB) about typical students' alcohol use and self-regulation (SRG) are related to alcohol use (AU) by exploring the indirect effect of SRG on AU through DNB and (ii) to explore gender differences and the differences between universities in DNB, SRG and AU.

Subject and methods

The cross-sectional data were collected online from 817 Slovak university students from four universities (75.22% females; Mage = 19.61; SD = 1.42), who filled in the AUDIT-C items, items measuring the DNB about typical students' AU and SRG. T-tests, one-way Anova and structural equation modelling were used for data analysis.

Results

Gender differences in AU and DNB were found with males having higher levels of both AU and DNB. The tested model of AU fits the data well. A significant association was found between DNB and (i) AU (positive) and (ii) SRG (negative). The analysis confirmed the existence of an indirect effect of SRG on AU through DNB.

Conclusion

The study contributes to research concerning AU by the way in which DNB and SRG are linked to AU among Slovak university students. The research findings can also be used in developing prevention and intervention programs.

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