Semester and event-specific motives for alcohol use during Spring Break: Associated protective strategies and negative consequences

Abstract Motives surrounding alcohol use behavior are important for understanding college student drinking. However, no previous research has addressed how motives for and against drinking during specific events associated with high-risk drinking, such as Spring Break, may differ from motives for and against drinking during the regular semester. Further, we examine the extent to which semester and Spring Break motives are associated with alcohol use, protective behavioral strategies (PBS), and consequences. Participants were college students (N = 261; 55% women) who provided data both immediately prior to (Wave 1) and after (Wave 2) Spring Break. Fun/Social motives for drinking were greater for Spring Break, and Driving motives against drinking were lower for Spring Break, compared to semester drinking. Relax and Image motives for drinking and Physical/Behavioral motives for not drinking during Spring Break did not differ from semester motives. Spring Break motives for and against drinking were associated with total drinks, maximum drinks, PBS, and experienced negative consequences during Spring Break. Students' specific motives regarding drinking during Spring Break predict high-risk drinking and may be utilized in creating salient event-specific interventions.