Date of Award

12-2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology

Abstract

Elevated levels of alcohol consumption among college students associated with Greek life are a well-documented occurrence in the United States (Baer, 1994; Capone et al., 2007). Many studies have sought to understand the precise influence(s) responsible for facilitating such inflated amounts of alcohol consumption behaviors. This study utilized the theory of planned behavior in an attempt to ascertain the most salient influences that may be contributing to Greek and non-Greek collegiate alcohol consumption. Specifically, one’s attitudes, perception of acceptable norms, and their perceived level of control over their behaviors were examined in relation to alcohol consumption.

An undergraduate collegiate sample (N = 259) was collected from Sewanee: The University of the South, the University of South Carolina, and the online survey service Mturk. The study was administered to participants via online survey. The results of the study confirmed the hypothesis that more involved Greek students consume more alcohol. Additionally, it was found that a participant’s attitude and perceived level of behavioral control was related to their level of alcohol consumption, but the subjective norms component was not found to be a predictor of drinking behavior. Finally, participants’ level of behavioral control was found to be a significant moderator between Greek life and alcohol consumption.

Clinical implications of these findings suggest that alcohol intervention programs should focus on bolstering individual’s perceived level of control over their drinking behaviors. Additionally, focusing on altering one’s attitude towards drinking may be beneficial in reducing overall alcohol consumption, as it was shown that those who endorsed more positive attitudes of alcohol consumption drank more heavily.

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Psychology Commons

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