Objective: The present research contrasted theoretical models of college student drinking tendencies (normative, social control, maturing out). Method: Three groups of students (N = 364; 62.1% female) from a moderately sized northwestern university were examined: traditional freshmen, nontraditional freshmen and upperclassmen. Participants completed measures assessing drinking tendencies, drinking consequences and drinking beliefs. Results: Support for a given theoretical model was dependent upon which outcome variables were being examined (e.g., drinking tendencies vs drinking consequences). Nontraditional freshmen were similar to their traditional freshmen counterparts in the amount of alcohol they consumed but were more like upperclassmen in the experience of consequences of drinking alcohol. Examination of drinking beliefs yielded inconsistent model support. Conclusions: It appears that different types of college students drink for different reasons, suggesting a 'one size fits all' intervention is less likely to be effective. The findings are discussed with respect to different interventions for changing drinking tendencies, drinking consequences and drinking beliefs, and the timing of those interventions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)