College Student Drinking and Meaning in the Pursuit of Life Goals

Tibor P. Palfai, Jessica Weafer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


The current study was designed to examine the association between risky alcohol use and life goals among college students. Introductory psychology students completed a questionnaire that included measures of typical life goals and alcohol use behavior. Students listed their 5 most typical life goals and rated them each on a series of dimensions from which 2 factors were derived (i.e., Goal Meaning, Goal Efficacy). Hierarchical regression analyses showed that the lower levels of goal meaning were associated with more heavy episodic use of alcohol and alcohol-related negative consequences. Results are consistent with motivational models of drinking that depict alcohol use as a function of satisfaction from other life goals. Findings support the importance of understanding college student drinking within the broader context of life goal appraisal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-134
Number of pages4
JournalPsychology of Addictive Behaviors
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2006


  • Alcohol
  • College students
  • Goals
  • Motivation
  • Social-environmental context

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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