American students studying in foreign countries represent a unique group at risk for increased and problematic drinking. Examination of risk and protective factors for negative alcohol-related consequences can lead to the development of efficacious preventive interventions for reducing high-risk drinking while abroad. The present study examined the relationship between sojourner adjustment (i.e., the sociocultural and psychological adjustment of short-term residents in foreign environments), drinking motives, and alcohol-related consequences.
Participants were 248 college students (81% women) who recently completed study-abroad trips and completed online
In general, positive sojourner adjustment (i.e., social interaction with host nationals, language development and use, and host culture identification) was protective against negative consequences, whereas negative sojourner adjustment (i.e., social interaction with co-nationals and homesickness/feeling out of place) was associated with increased reporting of consequences. Unexpectedly, the positive sojourner adjustment factor of cultural understanding and participation was associated with greater alcohol-related consequences. Social motives for drinking also predicted consequences. Drinking motives moderated several of the relationships between sojourner adjustment and consequences.
Interest in and adoption of the host country culture may protect against problematic alcohol use; however, this may vary based on students' reasons for drinking. These findings support the need for further examination of sojourner adjustment in
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