The present study used perspectives from the general literature on college alcohol consumption to examine mediational influences of peer, environmental, and parental variables on heavy drinking for student athlete and nonathlete samples. Eight hundred thirty-five freshmen who differed in organized sports involvement were compared on heavy drinking outcomes, peer norms, environmental influences, and parental communication. College athletes reported significantly more heavy drinking experiences than nonathletes. Peer norms, environmental influences, and parental communication were all significant mediators of the athlete-heavy drinking relationship. Athletes reported a higher perception of peer drinking, peer approval of drinking, higher alcohol availability, and direct drink offers, which, in turn, were related to higher rates of heavy drinking. Parental communication mediated the athlete-heavy drinking relationship differently, depending on the specific topic of conversation. Discussion surrounding the importance of incorporating a variety of interventions aimed at reducing collegiate athlete drinking on the basis of the peer, environmental, and parental influences observed in the present analyses are presented. Limitations and directions for future research are also noted.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health