Category: Addictive Behaviors

PS15- #A28 - Does High School Involvement in Athletics Impact the Relationship Between Parental and Self-Reported Alcohol Consumption in College Students?

Sunday, Nov 19
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Location: Indigo Ballroom CDGH, Level 2, Indigo Level

Keywords: Alcohol | Substance Abuse | Prevention

Research shows a positive relationship between parental alcohol consumption habits and the alcohol consumption habits of their children (Tildesley & Andrews, 2008; Weitzman & Wechsler, 2000). Additionally, involvement in high school athletics predicts an increase in alcohol consumption habits (Turrisi, 2007; Hoffman, 2006; Cooley et al., 1995). However, the possible relationship among witnessed maternal alcohol consumption habits, involvement in high school athletics, and personal alcohol consumption habits is under-researched. The aim of the present study was to assess if extracurricular activities was a moderator for the relationship between witnessed parental alcohol consumption and subsequent self-reported alcohol consumption. We used the Quantity-Frequency Index (QFI; Cahalan et al., 1969), to score the parents as well as the participants, and an Extracurricular Activities Questionnaire (EAQ; developed for the study). Specifically, scores used from the QFIs were the number of days the participant reported drinking in the most recent 90-day period, or in the case of their parents, the average amount the participant witnessed their mother consume in a single sitting while the participant was in adolescence.


A sample of college students (N = 147) were administered all versions of the QFI, as well as the EAQ. Average amount on the QFI was reversed scored, with lower scores indicating a higher amount drank on a single occasion. Once the data were collected, predictive relationships were found between the witnessed average amount of the mother and the self-reported number of days the participant consumed alcohol (B = -6.04, r2 = .089, p 2 = .034, p = .025). Regression analysis also found the main effects were qualified by the interaction (Mom_Avg_AmtXSA_Athletics) [F(1, 146) = 7.618, p < .01].


Participants who were highly involved in school-affiliated athletics, even if they reported witnessing their mothers consume high average amounts of alcohol per sitting while the participant was in adolescence, reported consuming alcohol on fewer days in the most recent 90-day period than participants who were not involved in school-affiliated athletics. These findings contradicted the original hypothesis, which suggested individuals who reported witnessing their mother consume high amounts of alcohol in a single sitting and were involved in athletics would report consuming the highest amounts of alcohol. Findings suggest school-affiliated athletics may function as a protective factor against problematic drinking habits, and further research should be done to assess the extent of this protective ability.

Maxwell D. Froman

Graduate Student
University of North Carolina Wilmington
Durham, North Carolina

Nora E. Noel

Professor of Psychology
University of North Carolina Wilmington

Lee A. Jackson

Professor of Psychology
University of North Carolina Wilmington

Kate B. Nooner

Associate Professor
University of North Carolina Wilmington
Wilmington, North Carolina