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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing

Drinking Motivations Among Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual College Students

Wendy Bostwick, PhD, Sean McCabe, PhD, and James Cranford, PhD. Substance Abuse Research Center, University of Michigan, 2025 Traverwood Drive, Suite C, Ann Arbor, MI 48105, 734/998-6500, wbeth@umich.edu

The goal of this study was to determine whether or not drinking motivations differ among heterosexual, lesbian/gay and bisexual college students. A random sample of full-time undergraduate students at a large mid-Western university was drawn from the Registrar's Office. Participants self-administered a Web-based survey that was conducted from January through February of 2005. The response rate was 67%. Past-year drinkers were given a list of 17 reasons for drinking, and asked to indicate how important each reason was to them. Based on results from exploratory factor analysis four motivational scales were created. A series of 2 (Sex: male vs. female) by 3 (Sexual Identity: bisexual vs. lesbian/gay vs. heterosexual) factorial analyses of variance were conducted on the four drinking motivation variables. Sexual identity had no main effect on the four motives. However, the sex by sexual identity interaction term was significant for all motivational scales. Factorial ANOVA revealed that bisexual women were more likely than bisexual men to endorse coping, enhancement, social and conformity motives and that the gap between the mean for bisexual women and men was significantly different than that between non-bisexual women and men. Results suggest that drinking motivations differ based on sexual minority status, and that the associations between sexual identity and motivations are moderated by sex. Results from this exploratory study support the need for continued research on the drinking motivations of collegiate sexual minority populations.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Bisexual, Gay

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Not Answered

Poster Session: HIV, ATOD, STD & DV

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA