Racial factors influencing college students' ratings of alcohol's usefulness

Gerard J. Connors, Stephen A. Maisto, Donnie W. Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Efforts to understand alcohol use and abuse among young adults necessarily require attention to drinkers' motivations to drink. In the present study, dose-related reasons for drinking were assessed to determine the extent to which expected effects of alcohol are correlated with race and gender among college students. A consistent association between endorsements of alcohol's usefulness (i.e., Useful for Feeling Better, Useful for Feeling in Charge, Useful for Relieving Emotional Distress) and race, gender, and volume of alcohol rated was found. In particular, black female college students (relative to white females and black males) tended to ascribe much stronger utility to higher amounts of alcohol. A similar tendency was found for white males relative to white females. There were few group differences on usefulness ratings provided for lower amounts of alcohol. These findings indicate that the perceived usefulness of alcohol in this population of college students varies considerably according to race, gender and amount of alcohol, with the effects pronounced among black females.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-252
Number of pages6
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • college students
  • drinking
  • expectancies
  • race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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