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Heavy alcohol consumption is a well-known health compromising addictive behavior. A lesser known addictive behavior that may cause physical and psychological harm is exercise dependence. Research has shown that heavy drinking co-occurs with other addictive behaviors, but until recently little was known about the co-occurrence of alcohol use and exercise dependence. The purpose of the current study was to examine this relationship and assess whether the co-occurrence could be accounted for by personality characteristics. Participants were 283 undergraduate students at a large, Northeastern university. All students reported consuming alcohol in the past 30 days and the majority (95.9%) reported exercising at least occasionally. Results indicated that alcohol use and alcohol-related problems co-occurred with exercise dependence and that personality characteristics did not fully account for the relationship. These findings have implications for clinicians and prevention specialists working with college students and provide several avenues for future research in an innovative area.
Jessica Martin, Holly Serrao, and Tracey Rocha are with the Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology at the University at Albany, SUNY, Albany, NY. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Matthew Martens is with the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Research at the University of Memphis.