Reasons for drinking: Motivational patterns and alcohol use among college students

Dennis McCarty, Michael Kaye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


A principal components factor analysis of survey data from 393 college student drinkers (178 males) extracted four dimensions from a set of 16 reasons for drinking: avoidance, social, sensation seeking, and enjoyment. Motivational patterns and the relationships with alcohol use were examined with a canonical correlation analysis. Three significant canonical variates were found. The first variate contained students with high scores on all motivational factors. They were heavy drinkers with many alcohol-related problems. The second variate indicated that drinkers who drank primarily for enjoyment tended to be women who drank moderately. Male beer drinkers with strong sensation seeking motivations formed the third variate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-188
Number of pages4
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Reasons for drinking: Motivational patterns and alcohol use among college students'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this