Drinking motives, protective behavioral strategies, and experienced consequences: Identifying students at risk

Megan E. Patrick, Christine M. Lee, Mary E. Larimer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


The association between drinking motives and protective behavioral strategies was explored, including whether individuals with different drinking motives were more or less likely to utilize protective behavioral strategies and whether the combination of drinking motives and use of protective strategies may help identify individuals at elevated risk for alcohol-related problems. The final sample included 358 college students (59.2% female; M = 18.47. years old, SD = .58). Individuals who had greater enhancement and social motives for drinking used protective strategies less frequently, controlling for number of drinks per week; those who had greater conformity motives used protective strategies more frequently. Coping motives were not significantly correlated with the mean of protective factors, but were associated with less frequently using individual strategies. Using protective strategies more frequently was associated with consuming fewer drinks and having lower RAPI scores. Interactions of drinking motives with the number of protective strategies tended to be non-significant; however, significant interactions indicated that greater coping and conformity motives were especially associated with negative outcomes among individuals who used fewer protective strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)270-273
Number of pages4
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this study was provided by a grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (U01AA014742 to M. Larimer). The content here is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the sponsors.


  • Alcohol problems
  • Alcohol use
  • Motivations
  • Protective behavioral strategies


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