College Student Employment and Drinking: A Daily Study of Work Stressors, Alcohol Expectancies, and Alcohol Consumption

Department of Psychology, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0505, USA.
Journal of Occupational Health Psychology (Impact Factor: 2.07). 07/2010; 15(3):291-303. DOI: 10.1037/a0019822
Source: PubMed


We examined the within-person relationships between daily work stressors and alcohol consumption over 14 consecutive days in a sample of 106 employed college students. Using a tension reduction theoretical framework, we predicted that exposure to work stressors would increase alcohol consumption by employed college students, particularly for men and those with stronger daily expectancies about the tension reducing properties of alcohol. After controlling for day of the week, we found that hours worked were positively related to number of drinks consumed. Workload was unrelated to alcohol consumption, and work-school conflict was negatively related to consumption, particularly when students expressed strong beliefs in the tension reducing properties of alcohol. There was no evidence that the effects of work stressors were moderated by sex. The results illustrate that employment during the academic year plays a significant role in college student drinking and suggest that the employment context may be an appropriate intervention site to address the problem of student drinking.

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