Effects of Alcohol Expectancies, Drinking Behaviors, and Ecological Contexts on Negative Alcohol-Related Consequences among University Freshmen
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The purpose of this study is to assess a hypothesized model of the influences of alcohol-related expectations, drinking behaviors, and ecological contexts, on first-year college students’ experience of negative, alcohol-related consequences. Growing concern about college student alcohol abuse and its critical consequences has elicited extensive research, prevention, and intervention efforts by academic institutions. Understanding the impacts and interactions of the cognitive, behavioral, and contextual influences associated with college student alcohol abuse is crucial to developing prevention and intervention efforts that effectively mitigate these issues. This investigation analyzed data gathered through the University of Oregon’s AlcoholEdu program to assess the influences and interactions of alcohol expectancies, specific drinking behaviors, and ecological contexts on the development of negative alcohol-related consequences among 3,240 first year university students. The model proposed in this study assessed the influences and interactions of students’ (a) positive and negative alcohol expectancies, (b) engagement in high-risk drinking, (c) use of protective behavioral strategies, and (d) exposure to ecological risk and protective contexts, on their experience of negative alcohol-related consequences. Implications for further research, intervention and prevention efforts are discussed.