Conformity Motives for Alcohol Use are Associated With Risky Sexual Behavior Among Alcohol-Dependent Patients in Residential Substance Abuse Treatment

Sarah J. Bujarksi, VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System
Daniel W. Capron, University of Southern Mississippi
Kim L. Gratz, University of Toledo
Matthew T. Tull, University of Toledo


Alcohol misuse is associated with a variety of negative outcomes, including risky sexual behavior (RSB). In an attempt to better identify the subset of individuals at greatest risk for these negative outcomes, a growing body of research has begun to examine the role of alcohol use motives in risk for alcohol use-related negative outcomes. Although the majority of research in this area has focused on coping motives, conformity motives may be particularly relevant to outcomes such as RSB. Specifically, conformity motives may operate as a proxy risk factor for RSB, reflecting the tendency to engage in interpersonally oriented risk behaviors in order to avoid rejection, interpersonal conflict, or social ostracism. Therefore, the current study examined the relation between conformity motives for alcohol use and RSB in a sample of 94 patients in a residential substance abuse treatment center. Results indicated that conformity motives were associated with RSB above and beyond other motives for alcohol use, as well as relevant covariates. Findings support the notion that conformity motives may operate as a proxy risk factor that could assist in identifying individuals at elevated risk for engaging in RSB.