Protective behavioral strategy use and motivations for drinking: Exploring Alternatives to Drinking strategies

Ashley N. Linden, Benjamin A. Kite, Abby L. Braitman, James M. Henson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Protective behavioral strategy (PBS) use is associated with less alcohol consumption and fewer alcohol-related problems. Further, greater endorsement of social or enhancement drinking motives (i.e., positive motives) is associated with less frequent PBS use. Limited research has, however, explored coping or conformity motives (i.e., negative motives) in relation to PBS. Consequently, the present study aimed to (1) identify the types of PBS most strongly associated with negative and positive motives and (2) examine different types of PBS as mediators of the relationship between each drinking motive and alcohol outcomes. Participants were college students (n= 303; 70% women) who completed measures of drinking motives, PBS, alcohol use, and alcohol-related problems. Results indicated that greater endorsement of positive drinking motives were more strongly associated with less frequent use of PBS while drinking whereas negative motives were more strongly related to less frequent Alternatives to Drinking strategy use. Further, strategies used while drinking were more relevant in a model of positive drinking motives and Alternatives to Drinking strategies were more relevant in a model of negative motives. These findings may suggest that whereas individuals with stronger positive motives have difficulty using strategies while drinking, individuals who drink to cope or conform have greater difficulty utilizing Alternatives to Drinking strategies. Based on our results demonstrating that different types of PBS are more relevant for various types of drinkers, it may be important for future interventions to discuss not only the participant's PBS use but also their motivations for consuming alcohol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)469-472
Number of pages4
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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