Social context and sensation seeking: Gender differences in college student drinking motivations

Kenneth H. Beck, Dennis L. Thombs, Colleen A. Mahoney, Karen M. Fingar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

84 Scopus citations

Abstract

An anonymous questionnaire was administered to students at two universities. The questionnaire contained the Social Context of Drinking Scales, the Sensation Seeking Scale, and measures of alcohol use intensity, frequency of alcohol-impaired driving, as well as frequency of riding with an impaired driver. The results revealed significant gender differences in the social context of drinking as well as sensation seeking. High intensity drinkers of each gender were more likely to drink in a context of Social Facilitation and score higher on the sensation seeking subscale-Disinhibition. High intensity men drinkers were more likely to drink in a context of Sex Seeking, whereas high intensity women drinkers tended to drink in a context of Emotional Pain. In general, the Social Context of Drinking Scales were superior to the Sensation Seeking Scales at being able to discriminate high from low intensity drinkers. The implications for targeted prevention programs on college campuses are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1101-1115
Number of pages15
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Volume30
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1995

Keywords

  • Alcohol use
  • College students
  • Drinking motivations
  • Sensation seeking
  • Social context

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