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Social Influences, Alcohol Expectancies, and Hazardous Alcohol Use Among College Athletes



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Research has shown that college student-athletes are at increased risk for hazard­ous alcohol use. As such, this study examined social and cognitive influences on athletes’ alcohol consumption by exploring the association between injunctive norms (parental, teammate, and coach approval) and hazardous alcohol use among college athletes, and testing whether alcohol expectancy outcomes and valuations would mediate this association. College student-athletes (n = 301; mean age = 19.4, SD = 1.3) completed self-report questionnaires assessing their drinking behaviors and perceptions of alcohol use in their social environment. Structural equation modeling revealed, in all but one case, a direct association between each of the injunctive norms variables and hazardous alcohol use. In addition, nega­tive expectancy valuations mediated the association between teammate approval and hazardous alcohol use. Injunctive norms emerged as an important factor in student-athletes’ alcohol use. Implications for alcohol intervention programming among student-athletes are discussed.


Authors: Janine V. Olthuis, Byron L. Zamboanga, Matthew P. Martens, Lindsay S. Ham

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