Objective: Lower levels of self-regulation have been associated with higher rates of alcohol-related consequences. Self-regulation refers to the effortful ability to plan and achieve delayed adaptive outcomes through goal-directed behavior, and this skill may play a role in adaptive behavioral change. The purpose of this prospective, longitudinal study was to test predictions from self-regulation theory about the relationship among self-regulation and weekly alcohol consumption and alcohol-related consequences over 12 months. Method: Participants were 170 heavy drinking college students who provided data on alcohol use and consequences at baseline and at 1-, 6-, and 12-month assessments. Results: Using a simultaneous latent growth model, self-regulation ability predicted the amount of initial alcohol-related consequences, the rate of change for alcohol-related consequences, and the rate of change for drinks per week. In contrast, self-regulation was not related to the initial level of alcohol use. Conclusions: Collectively, these results suggest that lower self-regulation ability functions as a risk factor for experiencing alcohol-related consequences and attenuates naturally occurring reductions in alcohol use and consequences over time for heavier drinking college students.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health(social science)
- Psychiatry and Mental health