Profiles of motivations for alcohol use and sexual behavior among first-year university students

The links between motivations for alcohol use and for sexual behaviors are not well understood. Latent profile analysis was used to identify drinking motivational profiles (based on motivations for: fun/social, relaxation/coping, image, sex; motivations against: physical, behavioral) and sex motivational profiles (motivations for: enhancement, intimacy, coping; motivations against: not ready, health, values) among college students (N = 227, 51% male). Latent profiles for drinking were: low for/high against drinking (34%), average drinking motives (53%), and high for/low against drinking (13%). Profiles for sex were: low for/high against sex (35%), high for/low against sex (42%), and high for with coping/moderate against sex (23%). Motivational profiles were related across behaviors. Drinking motivational profiles were associated with alcohol use and psychosocial adjustment; sex motivational profiles were associated with sexual experiences. Distinct profiles of motivations support the need for differentiated intervention programs targeting individuals with different patterns of reasons for engaging in risk behaviors during late adolescence.