The Role of College Students' Use of Protective Behavioral Strategies in the Relation Between Binge Drinking and Alcohol-Related Problems

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Previous research has examined protective behavioral strategies (PBS), or cognitive-behavioral strategies that may be employed when using alcohol to reduce consumption and related problems, as an important predictor of alcohol use and alcohol-related problems. More recently, studies have explored the mediating and moderating role of PBS on the relationships between key alcohol-related risk factors (i.e., drinking motives, depressive symptoms, binge drinking) and alcohol problems; however, current research examining PBS as a moderator of the relationship between alcohol use and related problems has methodological limitations. The purpose of the present study was to extend previous literature to examine the moderating effect of PBS on the relationship between binge drinking and alcohol-related problems. Data were collected and analyzed from 4,154 students at 13 midwestern universities. Findings indicated that PBS moderated the binge drinking-alcohol problems relationship for each of the four measures of binge drinking. However, effects were strongest when binge drinking was measured dichotomously versus continuously. Implications and future directions are discussed.

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