Protective Behavioral Strategies When Drinking Alcohol and Their Relationship to Negative Alcohol-Related Consequences in College Students

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Prior research has examined a number of individual characteristics (e.g., gender, family connectedness) that protect individuals from engaging in heavy drinking and experiencing negative alcohol-related consequences, but less is known about specific behavioral strategies that might also serve as protective factors. In this study, 556 undergraduate students completed the National College Health Assessment (American College Health Association, 2000) and answered questions regarding the use of specific protective behavioral strategies (PBS), alcohol consumption, and alcohol-related consequences. Results indicated that less frequent use of PBS was related to a greater likelihood of experiencing negative alcohol-related consequences, even after accounting for the effects of gender and alcohol consumption. These results suggest that PBS may be an important component of both prevention and treatment programs for college students.

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