The Role of Expectancies and Personality Factors in the Formation of Alcohol and Marijuana Use Motives among College Students

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Virginia Tech

Undergraduates at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (N = 306) were surveyed to investigate the formation of alcohol and marijuana use motives. Based upon a hypothesized path model effect expectancies, use motives, use frequencies, and use-related problems for alcohol and marijuana were assessed via self-report. Personality factors of sensation-seeking, sociability, and neuroticism-anxiety were also assessed during this single session. Many of the hypothesized pathways were confirmed via multiple regression methods for path analysis. The findings indicated that use motives are related to theoretically more distal influences such as related personality factors and drug effect expectancies. Motives were found to consistently account for substantial variation in use and the development of problems related to alcohol and marijuana in the sample. In some cases these motives not only predicted use, but also appeared to mediate the influences of personality factors and expectancies. Finally, specific motives were found to account for significant variation in the development of substance-related problems even after controlling for the frequency of use.

Personality Factor, Expectancy, Use Motive, Alcohol Use, Marijuana Use