Research & Resources

Young Adult Alcohol Use: Motivations and Consequences

This study examined the extent to which a young adult’s drinking motives impacted their moderate, binge, and high-intensity drinking, and whether these motives were associated with the alcohol use consequences they experienced. Motives were grouped into three types: enhancement (‘because I liked the feeling’ or ‘to have fun’), social (‘to improve a party/gathering’ or ‘to make a party/gathering more fun’), and coping (‘to avoid dealing with my problems’ or ‘to cheer up’). On days when participants reported greater enhancement and social motives, they were more likely to engage in more intense drinking rather moderate drinking. Negative drinking consequences also were linked to stronger drinking motives, particularly to coping and enhancement motives. Findings were broadly similar across individuals regardless of college enrollment, indicating that young adults outside of a college environment are also at risk for high-intensity drinking. 
This paper “Drinking Motives and Drinking Consequences across Days: Differences and Similarities between Moderate, Binge, and High-Intensity Drinking” was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). It was published in the journal Emerging Adulthood.
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