Social-cognitive correlates of protective drinking behaviors and alcohol-related consequences in college students

Anne E. Ray, Rob Turrisi, Beau Abar, Katherine E. Peters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Although heavy episodic drinkers are at risk to experience alcohol-related consequences, studies show that a large percentage of student drinkers do not experience problems as a result of their drinking. The present study was a more in-depth examination of factors beyond just drinking quantity and frequency to explain why students experience consequences. The current research examined the relationship between the use of protective behaviors, alcohol use, and alcohol related consequences, as well as the relationship between attitudinal and cognitive predictors of engaging in protective behaviors when drinking. We hypothesized there would be a significant direct effect of protective behaviors on consequences after taking into account the effect of alcohol use and that cognitive predictors, including perceived self-efficacy, perceived effectiveness, and subjective norm, would be associated with the attitude and frequency of engaging in protective behaviors. Results supported both hypotheses, indicating good model fit for all models and significant paths between constructs (p's < .05). These findings extend the literature on protective behaviors by providing insight as to their utility in preventing harm and why students choose to engage in these behaviors. Implications for interventions are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)911-917
Number of pages7
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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