Moving Beyond the Keg Party: A Daily Process Study of College Student Drinking Motivations


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Abstract

Theoretical models of alcohol consumption assert that young adults endorse multiple drinking motives, including drinking to cope with negative experiences and to enhance positive experiences. Social contacts may be important to both pathways. This study applied daily process methodology to determine the relationship between college student drinking in different contexts and daily social contacts and moods. Each afternoon for 3 weeks, 122 undergraduates (43% men, 57% women) logged onto a secure Web site during specified hours to report daily activities, moods, and contacts. Hierarchical linear modeling analyses provided support for motivational models and the context-specific nature of motivated drinking. Individual differences were revealed for each motivation. These findings highlight the importance of studying within-person processes using daily process designs.

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