The Relationship Between Reasons for Drinking Alcohol and Alcohol Consumption: An Interactional Approach
Two motives for alcohol consumption have been emphasized in the etiological and the reasons-for-alcohol use literature: (a) people use alcohol to cope with stress, and (b) people use alcohol because of social influences. There is support for both of these hypotheses, but the results are usually modest and most authors agree that more complex theories of alcohol consumption are needed. This study examined the interactional effects of reasons for alcohol use and situational factors on alcohol consumption.
Standardized telephone interviews were conducted with 781 randomly selected Michigan alcohol users.
Results and conclusions
Hierarchical multiple regression analyses indicated that gender, friends’ alcohol consumption, coping, and social motives for alcohol use were significant predictors of study participants’ alcohol consumption.
As predicted, there was a significant interaction between using alcohol to cope with stress and perceived stress, and there was also a significant interaction between using alcohol for social reasons and friends’ alcohol consumption. Similarities and differences in the results for women, men, African Americans, and Caucasians are described.