Positive and negative alcohol-related consequences: Associations with past drinking

While recent attention suggests that positive and negative alcohol-related expectancies are important determinants of alcohol use, less is known about what types of consequences young people report actually experiencing when drinking alcohol. The present study (N = 742, 54% women) examined positive (Fun/Social, Relaxation/Coping, Positive Image) and negative (Physical, Behavioral, Driving) consequences of alcohol use among individuals with prior drinking histories who completed surveys the summer before their first year at university. Fun/Social consequences were reported more frequently than any negative consequences. Alcohol consequences were associated with drinking behaviors. In particular, positive Fun/Social consequences and negative Physical and Driving-related consequences were related to alcohol frequency, alcohol quantity, and frequency of heavy episodic drinking. Positive consequences were at least as strongly associated with drinking as were negative consequences. The possible role of Fun/Social consequences in the escalation and maintenance of high-risk drinking is discussed. © 2010 The Association for Professionals in Services for Adolescents.