Predicting Alcohol Patterns in First-Year College Students Through Motivational Systems and Reasons for Drinking


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Abstract

In the present study, a typological approach was used to identify patterns of alcohol use in a sample of 533 college freshmen students (<21 years old; 342 women; 191 men), on the basis of quantity and frequency of consumption, and alcohol-related problems. Personality (sensitivity to reward, SR; sensitivity to punishment, SP) and reasons for drinking were examined as correlates of drinking patterns through a mediational model. Analyses were done separately by gender. Latent profile analyses suggested 5 drinking patterns for both genders, including 3 problematic groups. SR was only associated with the problematic drinking patterns, and enhancement, coping, and social reasons for drinking mediated this relationship. These findings demonstrate the utility of latent profile analysis for identifying a drinking typology and for integrating personality and drinking motives to distinguish drinking patterns.

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