College men and alcohol use: Positive alcohol expectancies as a mediator between distinct masculine norms and alcohol use

Derek Kenji Iwamoto, William Corbin, Carl Lejuez, Laura MacPherson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

College men are more likely to engage in health-compromising behaviors, including risky drinking behavior, and experience more alcohol-related problems, including violence and arrest, compared with women. The study of masculine norms or societal expectations, defined as beliefs and values about what it means to be a man, is one promising area of investigation that may help explain within-group differences and differential rates of alcohol use among men. Using the gender social learning model, we investigated the role of positive alcohol expectancies as an underlying mediator between masculine norms and alcohol use among college men. Data from 804 college adult men (mean age =20.43 years) were collected through a Web-based assessment. Participants completed a self-report measure of binge drinking, frequency of drinking, quantity of drinks, conformity to masculine norms, and positive alcohol expectancies measures. Structural equation modeling was used to examine relations between masculine norms, alcohol expectancies, and alcohol use. The masculine norms of playboy and risk taking were positively related to heavy alcohol use, whereas emotional control and heterosexual presentation were both negatively associated with alcohol use, after controlling for fraternity/Greek status and positive expectancies. Playboy and winning norms were positively associated with positive expectancies, whereas power over women was inversely related to positive expectancies that, in turn, were associated with heavier alcohol use. This study was a novel exploration into the multiple pathways and mediators through which positive alcohol expectancies may help explain and provide specificity to the masculinity and alcohol use relationship among college men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-39
Number of pages11
JournalPsychology of Men and Masculinity
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

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Keywords

  • Alcohol expectancies
  • Alcohol use
  • Masculinity
  • Mediators
  • Men

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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