Alcohol Use
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Previous Studies
Research on alcohol use has been conducted for decades and is an ongoing research topic, as well as a focus of many societal institutions as evidenced in the 1989 work “Sociological research on alcohol use, problems, and policy.” This review of sociologically relevant alcohol research addresses definitions of alcohol problems, describes patterns and trends in adult drinking practices and problems and correlates of alcoholism, and describes social policy responses to alcohol. With implications for many measures of social wellbeing, alcohol research is relevant to almost all areas of traditional sociological interest, intersecting with religious and ethnic studies, with studies of social change and social movements, with theories of social control, with criminology and social deviance, with media research and analysis of social organizations, with study of age and gender roles, with medical sociology, and with sociology of the work place. Sociologically relevant alcohol research of the last few years, while rich in the above areas, is by no means exhausted and holds great potential to illuminate issues of general interest to sociologists as well as to specialists in medical sociology or deviance (Bucholz Robbins 1989).

Such work continues today, with more focus place on college students as seen in a 2005 work that examined temporal variations in drinking during the freshmen college year and the relationship of several risk factors to these variations. Here, using the same data, the authors investigate whether a single growth curve adequately characterizes the variability in individual drinking trajectories. Latent growth mixture modeling identified 5 drinking trajectory classes: light-stable, light-stable plus high holiday, medium-increasing, high-decreasing, and heavy-stable. In multivariate predictor analyses, gender (i.e., more women) and lower alcohol expectancies distinguished the light-stable class from other trajectories; only expectancies differentiated the high-decreasing from the heavy-stable and medium-increasing classes. These findings allow for improved identification of individuals at risk for developing problematic trajectories and for development of interventions tailored to specific drinker classes (Greenbaum et al. 2005).

Several researchers have also examined the effects of a brief motivational intervention for heavy, episodic alcohol use on discrepancy-related psychological processes. Heavy-drinking college students (N = 73) were randomly assigned to a motivationally based intervention (MBI) or an assessment-only control (AC) condition. Cognitive (actual-ideal discrepancy) and affective (2 forms of cognitive dissonance) discrepancy processes were assessed at baseline and immediately following the experimental manipulation. At 6-week follow-up, MBI participants demonstrated significantly greater reductions in problematic drinking than AC participants. Moreover, actual-ideal discrepancy and negative, self-focused dissonance were significantly increased following the intervention (discomfort-related dissonance was not) and were correlated with outcome alcohol involvement. These discrepancy processes did not, however, mediate the relationship between condition and outcome. The findings lend some support to the role of discrepancy enhancement in drinking-related behavior change among college students (McNally Palfai & Kahler 2005).

A 2003 study aimed to investigate patterns of alcohol consumption and intoxication in French sport science students. Methods: Second- and third-year sport university students (n = 677) completed an anonymous self-report questionnaire. Results and Conclusions: 20.4% reported more than six episodes of intoxication during the previous year. Male students drank more frequently and were more frequently intoxicated than were female students. Compared to their peers in the general population, sport students drank less frequently, but reported more episodes of intoxication. There were no differences in frequency of intoxication according to competitive level (Lorente et al. 2003).

Marcella Korn and Jennifer Maggs (2004) looked at alcohol use among university students through the theoretical lens of the self-presentation model, this paper addresses conflicting results from past research on the links between the components of diffidence (i.e., high levels of introversion and loneliness and low levels of self-esteem) and alcohol use among undergraduate college students (N = 548). Correlational and multiple regression analyses were used to examine whether protective and acquisitive self-presentation expectancies about the effects of alcohol act as suppressing variables in the relationship between diffidence and alcohol use. Results supported the suppression hypothesis. A negative relationship between diffidence and alcohol use was revealed when self-presentation

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Alcohol Use And Forms Of Cognitive Dissonance. (April 3, 2021). Retrieved from