Date of Conferral







Hedy Dexter


College-student binge drinking presents a significant health problem on college campuses. Binge drinking has typically been associated with male college students. The rate of binge drinking (4 or more alcoholic drinks on a single occasion) for female college students increased from 46% in 1991-1992 to 52% in 2011-2012. Female alcoholics are more vulnerable to high risk of liver disease, circulatory disorders, breast cancer, fertility issues, and early menopause. Given these risks and increases in the rate of female college student binge drinking, there is a need to identify motivations for/expectations from binge drinking among females. Using the foundation of social learning theory, the purpose of this quantitative survey study was to examine the possible predictive factors for binge drinking. Motives and expectancies included drinking to cope with negative internal moods (i.e., coping), drinking to conform, and drinking with a positive expectancy of 'liquid courage' Measurement instruments included the Alcohol Use Disorders Screening Test, Drinking Motives Questionnaire, and Comprehensive Effects of Alcohol. Participants included 244 female college students who consumed alcohol. Results from multiple regression revealed that coping and liquid courage were significant predictors of binge drinking. Conforming was not a significant predictor of binge drinking. The identification of these 2 binge-drinking risk factors provides useful information for effective female-binge-drinking awareness programs. By increasing understanding of the motives behind binge drinking and identifying healthy alternatives to drinking alcohol to cope with stress or gain courage, this study may assist those seeking to curtail the rise in female binge drinking on college campuses.

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