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Self-Regulation and Alcohol Consumption: Understanding University Students’ Motivation for Drinking

Bagheri, Mansour (2017) Self-Regulation and Alcohol Consumption: Understanding University Students’ Motivation for Drinking. PhD thesis, Prifysgol Bangor University.

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Abstract

This thesis examined self-regulation and motivational structure as two important psychological constructs related to alcohol consumption. Three studies were conducted for this thesis. Study One was designed to assess relationships among self-regulation, motivational structure, and alcohol use. Participants were student drinkers (N = 105, females = 77.7%, mean age = 19.82 years). They were asked to complete four questionnaires, including a brief demographic characteristics questionnaire, the Personal Concern Inventory, Alcohol Use Questionnaire, and Short Self-Regulation Questionnaire. The results partially supported one of the hypotheses of the study. Total SSRQ scores were negatively correlated with the amount of alcohol that students drank on atypical occasions, as was predicted. That is, as participants’ degree of self-regulation increased, the amount of alcohol that they consumed decreased. In Study Two, a manipulation technique was used to examine individuals’ self-regulation and to clarify whether a manipulation for changing their self-regulation caused their motivational structure to become more adaptive and thereby reduce their alcohol consumption. Participants were 80 students (males = 26.6 %, males, mean age = 21.19 years). The main purpose of Study Two was to examine the effects of a task that used Concept Identification Cards on participants’ self-regulation. The task aimed to enhance individuals’ self-regulation and clarify whether manipulations aimed at triggering changes in their motivational structure to become more adaptive would reduce their alcohol drinking. Two types of instruments were employed. The first type included those that were administered to identify changes in participants’ self-regulation, motivational structure, self-efficacy, procrastination and urges to drink. The second type included those that the experimenter used to manipulate self-regulation in the experimental group. The results partially supported one of the hypotheses of the study. Total SSRQ scores were negatively correlated with students ‘atypical drinking, as was predicted. That is, as participants’ degree of self-regulation increased, the amount of alcohol that they consumed decreased. However, the results only partially supported the fourth hypothesis of the study, viz. that motivational structure would partly mediate the relationship between self-regulation and amount of alcohol consumed. This outcome was not consistent with the results of previous studies. Study Three was designed to explore whether relationships among a withholding response, impulsivity, self-regulation, and memory capacity were related to one another and to drinking behaviour. The hypotheses tested in Study Three were as follows: (a) Participants who were heavy drinkers and low in self-regulation, high in impulsivity, and low in working memory capacity would perform more poorly than others on a Go/No Go task. (b) More errors would be made when the stimuli on Go/No Go trials were alcohol-related than when they were alcohol-unrelated. Participants were students (N = 108, male = 41.8%, males’ mean age = 19.86 years). Measures used in the study were a measure of (a) alcohol consumption, (b) impulsivity, and (c) self-regulation. In addition, two computerised tasks were used to measure participants’ behavioural impulsivity and memory capacity. The results of Study Three supported both of the hypotheses. In conclusion, this thesis demonstrates that self-regulation and related psychological constructs play an important role in university students’ alcohol consumption.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: Degree Thesis
Departments: College of Health and Behavioural Sciences > School of Psychology
Degree Thesis
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2017 10:03
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2017 10:03
URI: http://e.bangor.ac.uk/id/eprint/10252
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