Influence of Motives and Personality on Protective Behavioural Strategies and Heavy Episodic Drinking in Undergraduate Students - Bethany Cain (2013)

The association between drinking motives and personality with protective behavioural strategies (PBS) was explored, including whether individuals with different drinking motives or personality profiles were more or less likely to utilize protective behavioural strategies. The final sample consisted of 137 undergraduate students (81% females, M = 22.15 years old, SD = 2.76). Hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to examine how protective behavioural strategies are associated with motives for alcohol use and with personality. Individuals who had greater Enhancement and Coping motives for drinking used protective strategies less frequently. Social motives were not significantly correlated with the mean of protective factors, but were associated with less frequent use of strategies related to reducing risky drinking patterns (Manner of Drinking subscale). Similarly Enhancement and both Coping motives also predicted lower levels of strategies within the Manner of Drinking subscale. Additionally, Coping Depression was related to less PBS use as it relates to limiting the serious harms associated with drinking (Serious Harm Reduction subscale). Conformity did not significantly predict an increase or decrease in PBS use within any of the subscales. No personality profiles significantly predicted overall PBS use. Impulsivity significantly predicted a decrease in Serious Harm Reduction strategies, while Sensation Seeking predicted less Manner of Drinking strategies. Anxiety Sensitivity was unique in that it significantly predicted an increase in Stopping/Limiting Drinking behaviours. Finally, Hopelessness was not related to any PBS subscales. These findings are significant as they may assist in understanding undergraduates at greatest risk of negative alcohol-related consequences and inform protective behavioural strategies-based interventions tailored to personality traits and motives for drinking.