Despite recent decreases in college alcohol use, alcohol related harms continue to occur at high rates and currently available interventions do not work as well as previously thought. Research has found sociability expectancies to be particularly important in predicting risky alcohol use, and expectancy challenge programs that target these expectancies can be effective in reducing heavy drinking. Little is known, however, about how other social variables might contribute to the influence of expectancies in promoting alcohol use. The current study used structural equation modeling to test models of alcohol use examining how need to belong and social connectedness fit into an expectancy model of alcohol use while controlling for social anxiety. Results found significant relationships between need to belong, social anxiety, and alcohol expectancies. Social connectedness significantly predicted social anxiety but was not connected to expectancies or alcohol use directly. Expectancies significantly predicted drinking and partially mediated the relationship between need to belong and alcohol use, as well as the relationship between social anxiety and alcohol use. These results suggest that targeting need to belong and social anxiety might increase the impact of expectancy challenge interventions.
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Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Crisafulli, Mark, "Social Connectedness and College Student Alcohol Use: Understanding the Role of Alcohol Expectancies, Social Anxiety, and Need to Belong" (2020). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 343.