Alcohol Consumption in Students
Tran, Cathy DISSERTATION 2010.doc (800Kb)
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Drinking behaviour among university students is a serious public health concern. Reasons for drinking are complex and many factors contribute to this behaviour. Previous research has established links between personality factors and alcohol consumption and also between metacognitions and alcohol consumption. Few studies have looked into how personality traits and metacognitions interact. This study investigated the relationships between personality, metacognitions and alcohol consumption in a student population. A sample of 427 students completed self-report questionnaires including the NEO-Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI), the Khavari Alcohol Test (KAT), the Metacognitions-questionnaire-30 (MCQ-30), the Positive Alcohol Metacognition Scale (PAMS) and the Negative Alcohol Metacognition Scale (NAMS). Students were categorized into non, social, binge and heavy drinking groups to examine their differences in metacognitions and personality. Univariate general linear model analyses showed significant differences between drinking groups in neuroticism, extraversion, conscientiousness and a selection of metacognitive factors. Low scores on both neuroticism and conscientiousness and high scores on extraversion predicted heavier drinking; higher scores on both beliefs about emotional and social self-regulation and beliefs about cognitive self-regulation predicted heavier drinking; high scores on beliefs about uncontrollability predicted heavier drinking; and high scores on beliefs about harm predicted non drinkers. The next stage of analysis examined the potential mediating role of metacognitions in explaining relationships between personality factors and drinking behaviour. Mediator logistic regression showed that positive beliefs about cognitive self-regulation and negative beliefs about harm in relation to alcohol, separately mediated the relation between neuroticism and drinking group. Positive beliefs about emotional and social self-regulation in relation to alcohol fully mediated the relation between conscientiousness and drinking group.