Drinking, abstinence, and academic motives have been previously linked with alcohol consumption in high school and college students; however, little research has examined the impact of such sources of motivations concurrently.
Drawing from self-determination theory (SDT; Ryan & Deci, 2000), the current study tested the hypothesis that alcohol-related and academic motives would be associated with one another along internal vs. external focused dimensions. We also examined the relative influence of these motives on alcohol consumption.
College students (N = 226) completed self-report measures assessing drinking motives, abstinence motives, academic motives, and alcohol-related outcomes.
Findings suggest that drinking motives are related to abstinence motives but not academic motives. Both forms of alcohol-related motives were related to alcohol use and consequences; no associations between academic motives and alcohol variables were observed.
The lack of associations among academic motives, alcohol-related motives, and alcohol variables departs from previous findings suggesting that academic motives impact alcohol use. The current findings indicate a greater understanding of the interplay of motivational sets related to salient issues for youth, such as academics, is needed in order to expand intervention models for alcohol use in such populations.