Linking Masculinity to Negative Drinking Consequences: The Mediating Roles of Heavy Episodic Drinking and Alcohol Expectancies
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This study extends previous research on masculinity and negative drinking consequences among young men by considering mediating effects of heavy episodic drinking (HED) and alcohol expectancies. We hypothesized that masculinity would have a direct relationship with negative consequences from drinking as well as indirect relationships mediated by HED and alcohol expectancies of courage, risk, and aggression. A random sample of 1,436 college and university men ages 19-25 years completed an online survey, including conformity to masculine norms, alcohol-related expectancies, HED, and negative drinking consequences. Regression analyses and structural equation modeling were used. Six of seven dimensions of masculinity and the alcohol expectancy scales were significantly associated with both HED and negative consequences. In multivariate regression models predicting HED and negative consequences, the playboy and violence dimensions of masculinity and the risk/aggression alcohol expectancy remained significant. HED and the risk-taking dimension of masculinity were also significant in the model predicting negative consequences. The structural equation model indicated that masculinity was directly associated with HED and negative consequences but also influenced negative consequences indirectly through HED and alcohol expectancies. The findings suggest that, among young adult male college and university students, masculinity is an important factor related to both HED and drinking consequences, with the latter effect partly mediated by HED and alcohol expectancies. Addressing male norms about masculinity may help to reduce HED and negative consequences from drinking.
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