247418 Examining alcohol-related problems among Greek pledges: An Integrated Behavioral Model Approach

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Meg E. Sheppard, PhD, CHES , College of Community Health Sciences, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
M. Renée Umstattd Meyer, PhD, CHES , Department of Health, Human Performance, and Recreation, Baylor University, Waco, TX
Brad Lian, PhD , College of Human & Environmental Services, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
Laura L. Talbott, PhD, CHES , Department of Human Studies, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Stuart Usdan, PhD , Department of Health Sciences, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
Background: Alcohol-related problems (ARP) among college students continue to negatively influence their overall health and quality of life. Theoretical frameworks like the Integrated Behavioral Model (IBM) are useful when examining complex behaviors like alcohol use and ARP. IBM suggests that attitudes, injunctive norms, and descriptive norms influence intention, which subsequently influences health behavior. Additionally, these same constructs can be used to better understand problems associated with behavior, specifically ARP.

Methods: Paper-and-pencil surveys were administered to 1,459 Greek pledges during the Fall 2010 at a large university in the Southern US. Attitudes toward alcohol, injunctive and descriptive norms, satisfaction with life (SWL) and gender were entered into a backward stepwise multiple regression analysis, while controlling for drinking behavior, to determine which variables best predict ARP among Greek pledges.

Results: The model explained 42.9% (adjusted R2) of the variance in ARP and was significant (p<.001). After controlling for drinking behavior (p<.001), permissive attitudes toward alcohol, higher levels of perceived alcohol use among peers (descriptive norms), lower levels of SWL, and being female were significantly (p<.001) related with ARP, with attitude holding the strongest relationship.

Conclusions: This study supports the use of the IBM to more fully understand ARP among Greek pledges. Specifically, these findings have important implications for future health promotion programming aimed at decreasing ARP among Greek pledges, as potential determinants outside of drinking behavior are identified. Further research is needed to better understand this relationship.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Explain the relationship between attitudes, injunctive and descriptive norms, satisfaction with life, alcohol use, and alcohol-related problems.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the project coordinator on this project, I am a doctoral candidate in Health Education/Health Promotion and I am CHES.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.