Date of Award

5-2018

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Michael Madson, Ph.D

Advisor Department

Psychology

Abstract

Hazardous drinking continues to be a problem on college campuses especially when considering the increased negative consequences often associated with use at these levels. Although alcohol use is viewed as normative behavior among college students, many factors may predict increased or decreased use and negative consequences. Protective behavioral strategies (PBS) are related to decreased hazardous drinking and alcohol-related negative consequences. Specifically, controlled consumption PBS (PBS-CC) are related to less hazardous drinking while serious harm reduction PBS (PBS-SHR) are often related to fewer alcohol-related negative consequences. Stress is also linked with hazardous drinking as students may drink to cope with this stress. However, there may be unique characteristics of the college experience of stress that require further investigation of this relationship given the rates of hazardous drinking. The purpose of this study was to explore how college stress moderated the relationship between the types of PBS and hazardous drinking and alcohol-related negative consequences. Participants were 550 college students ages 18 to 24 who drank alcohol in the past 30 days and completed measures of protective strategy use, college stress, hazardous drinking, and alcohol-related negative consequences. College stress moderated the relationship between PBS and hazardous drinking such that increased use of PBS-CC strategies was associated with less hazardous drinking especially for students who experienced less stress; however, increased PBS-SHR was linked with more hazardous drinking for those who experienced less stress. College stress only moderated the relationship between PBS-SHR and alcohol-related negative consequences such that increased PBS-SHR use was associated with decreases in alcohol-related negative consequences especially for those experiencing higher levels of stress.

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