Gender differences in reasons for drinking and not drinking: Association with drinking levels and alcohol-related consequences

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Celia C. Lo
Denise L. Bissler


Fifty-nine male and 65 female high school students were interviewed in the winter of 1995. These students verbally expressed their reasons for drinking or not drinking and shared their experiences with alcohol-related outcomes. The reasons given for drinking were then evaluated to see whether they were associated with A) usual blood-alcohol concentration achieved per typical sitting, and B) alcohol related consequences typically experienced by two gender group. Results indicate that both gender groups very often named as reasons for their drinking such as things as fitting in with peers and having fun. Drinking for fun was associated with high blood-alcohol concentrations among both gender groups; drinking to experiment was related to low blood-alcohol concentrations among female respondents. Male heavy drinkers said they drank to alleviate boredom. When usual blood-alcohol concentration was controlled, some reasons cites by the respondents predicted particular kinds of alcohol-related problems

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