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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Coping Motives as a Mediator of the Relationship between Sexual Coercion and Problem Drinking in College Students

Sexually coercive experiences, heavy alcohol use, and alcohol-related problems occur at relatively high base rates in college populations. As suggested by the self-medication hypothesis, alcohol consumption may be a means by which one can reduce negative affect or stress related to experiences of sexual coercion. 

However, few studies have directly tested the hypothesis that coping motives for drinking mediate the relation between sexual assault and problem drinking behaviors, and no published studies have tested this in men.

The current study tested this hypothesis using structural equation modeling in a sample of 780 male and female undergraduates. 

Results revealed that coping motives partially mediated the relation between sexual coercion and drinking and alcohol-related negative consequences. In addition, direct and indirect paths between sexual coercion and drinking were found for men whereas only indirect paths were found for women.

Results provide support for self-medication models of drinking and suggest the importance of exploring gender differences in mechanisms for drinking.


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