Serious Harm Reduction Strategies Indirectly Affects the Relationship between Explicit Drinking Identity and Hazardous Drinking in College Males

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College male alcohol use continues to be a topic of interest due to its prevalence and the nature of consequences reported by this group. Research concerned with prevention and intervention efforts has focused on alcohol protective behavioral strategies (PBS) and the subtypes (i.e., manner of drinking, stopping/limiting drinking, and serious harm reduction), as a promising approach to reduce harm associated with drinking. Past research indicates college males are less likely than their female peers to use PBS. Currently, little research has explored whether explicit drinking identity may be associated with college males’ relative lack of PBS use. The current study examined the indirect association of explicit drinking identity with alcohol outcomes through the relation with PBS subtypes. This study utilized a national sample of 599 college males (M = 22.52, SD = 2.02) who completed measures of drinking identity, PBS use, and alcohol outcomes (i.e., negative consequences and hazardous use). Results indicated a positive association between drinking identity and alcohol outcomes (i.e., hazardous alcohol use and alcohol-related negative consequences). The relationship between drinking identity and hazardous alcohol use was partially explained by less use of serious harm reduction-PBS strategies. Research and clinical practice implications are discussed.

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