Self-concept theory was used as a theoretical basis to investigate the utility of social norms alcohol prevention programs for college athletes. The predictive relationship among alcohol use and athletic identity, competitiveness, drinking game participation, and level of sport participation was investigated. Drinking game participation was found to be a significant predictor of total weekly alcohol use above and beyond the other predictors. In addition, organized recreational sport participation was a significant predictor of total binge-drinking episodes. It was demonstrated that individuals not currently participating in sports with an athletic identity in the same range as current athletes consumed alcohol at similar rates to current athletes, thus supporting athletic identity as an alternative way of classifying athlete status when studying alcohol consumption patterns. These results highlight the importance of drinking game participation in the alcohol use of college athletes and the validity of applying self-concept theory to alcohol prevention programs.
Jacob A. Jones is with the Psychology Department at Colorado Mesa University, Grand Junction, CO.