Negative Consequences of Alcoholism

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Updated: Apr 10, 2021
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Negative Consequences of Alcoholism essay

“The use of alcohol has always been problematic issue among young adults. This article mainly focuses on the negative consequences that comes along with problem drinking. Problem drinking has been an ongoing issue among college students which leads to death, higher rates of sexual assault, academic issues, health issues, and social complications. “The present study is to examine the separate and interactive effects of stress, motivation to drink alcohol, and perfectionistic personality characteristic in their association with problems linked to alcohol consumption among a sample of college students” (Arsdale and Rice). The main focus in this study is on perceived stress and personality. Some people have associated stress with binge drinking, but it has been found that a connection between alcohol and high stress. Most people tend to lean more towards alcohol as a way to cope with personal issues, so the mixture of those issues along with other stressors may tend to lead to drinking and alcohol issues.

In this study the proposition is that different forms of perfectionism are connected to and associated with risk for alcohol problems. “Maladaptive perfectionism has been associated with numerous negative emotionally indicators consistent with neuroticism, such as self-criticism, perceived stress, depression, anxiety, emotional dysregulation, and other indicators of problematic coping, whereas adaptive perfectionism has been associated with positive functioning, such as good affect regulation and coping, high self-esteem, and good interpersonal adjustment” (Arsdale and Rice). This current study is examining the relationship between adaptive and maladaptive perfectionism. They first used correlation and mean differences to test and to determine that perfectionism is linked with risk, perceived stress, and drinking. Secondly, they came up with their hypothesis which stated that; “drinking to cope would be a significant mediator between perceived stress and alcohol problems” (Arsdale and Rice). Thirdly, they looked into how people tend to drink to cope as the divider between stress and alcohol related problems. Finally, they looked at gender differences in coping with stress and came to discover that women are more stressed at their baseline than men, but they also drank more to cope with their stress and personal issues when compared to men. The participants chosen for this study were taken from two different parts of the school year. The first group was taken in October and November of 2008 and February and March of 2009.

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The participants were also picked from “party schools” where there is a higher chance of alcohol use. They were taken from the same courses including: introductory to psychology and research methods courses. Each participant had to sign a consent form and from there were directed to a separate secured website that ensured all responses would be anonymous. The first thing students needed to report was whether or not they consumed alcohol within the past thirty days and then continued on to complete the Young Adult Alcohol Problem Screening Test, the Drinking Motives Questionnaire, the Perceived Stress Scale, and the Almost Perfect Scale-Revised. The main age group targeted was between the ages of 18 and 27 because it has been shown that these age groups participate in high rates of alcohol consumption and has been found to predict problem drinking.

In the study 81% of the participants were underage and 98% were all 22 years old or younger. Of the participants in the study women made up 54.15% of the sample and men made up 45.85% of the sample. As you can tell there wasn’t a big difference in gender, but there was in race/ethnicity. Approximately 64.47% of participants identified as White/European American, 15.19% as Hispanic/Latino, 6.30% as Black/African American, 7.45% as Asian or Asian American, 5.44% as multicultural/multiracial, and 1.15% as Pacific Islander. In this study they also recorded the majors of the participants to see if there was a connection between drinking problems and stress due to the major the participant was taking. Many of the majors in Liberal Arts and sciences, Health and Human Performance, Agriculture and Life Sciences, Business, Journalism, Engineering, Public Health and Health Professions, and Nursing.

There are four types of measurements used in the methods. The first measurement is stress. The Perceived Stress Scale, or the PSS for short, is a way to measure an individual’s stress. It is a 14-item scale which from 0-56, but for the study being conducted it ranged from 5-47. The higher the scores someone has indicated the higher amount of stress perceived. The next measurement is perfectionism. The Almost Perfect Scale is a 23-item which is a self-report measure of three perfectionism dimensions: discrepancy, high standards, and order. The Order subscale was not used in this study because it didn’t contribute any information that can be associated to high standards, and it has a scale that ranges from 1 to 7. The discrepancy subscale has 12 items to judge the way the participants see themselves as failing meet the personal standards that they set for themselves. The scale ranges from 12-84, and the higher the score shows the higher level of self-critical perfectionism. The High Standards subscale has 7 items conducted to judge the performance expectations, and the scale ranges from 7-49. Another measurement is drinking to cope. The Coping Motives subscale of the Drinking Motives Questionnaire, DMQ, was used to regulate the amount of alcohol individuals consumed in a way to cope with issues. There are four motivational subscales include the following: Social Motives, Coping Motives, Enhancement Motives, and Conformity Motives. Higher scores in these subscales show higher levels of drinking motives. The last measurement is alcohol problems. Alcohol-related issues are weighed with the Young Adult Alcohol Problems Screening Test, YAAPST. The YAAPST is a 27-item questionnaire that determines the consequences of alcohol involvement in the general population as well as alcohol involvement among college students.

The first thing to be tested in this study was to show how perfectionism is connected with alcohol risk and alcohol-related issues. Throughout the study as it was expected there was a positive connection between perceived stress, drinking to cope motives, and alcohol-related problems. Perceived stress and drinking to cope motive were in a moderate to large range, but the connection between stress and reported alcohol related problems had a smaller effect. Also, drinking to cope motives and alcohol-related problems also in the moderate to large range, but weren’t high enough to raise concerns. They separated all the participants into three group’s adaptive perfectionists, maladaptive perfectionists, and non-perfectionists. There was 128 participants who were adaptive perfectionist, 93 were maladaptive perfectionists, and 130 were non perfectionist. Between the three groups there was some significant differences showing that perceived stress scores with maladaptive perfectionists obtaining the highest average scores, than non-perfectionists, and finally adaptive perfectionists. Although maladaptive perfectionists scored the highest there wasn’t a significant difference between the other two groups on using drinks to cope motives. Adaptive perfectionists scored the lowest out of all three groups on alcohol-related problems. So, maladaptive perfectionists were shown to have higher risk factors compared to the other groups, and adaptive perfectionist had lower stress, a lower chance of drinking to cope, and fewer alcohol-related problems.

This study had three factor it was focusing on which were perceived stress, drinking to cope, and alcohol-related problems, and how drinking to cope was used as a mediator between stress and alcohol related issues. The connection between these three factors as that there was a 47% correlation between perceived stress and drinking to cope motives, a 23% correlation between perceived stress and alcohol-related problems, and a 39% correlation between drinking to cope motives and alcohol-related problems. It was found that the unintended effect of mediating variable, that being drinking to cope, was statistically more significant. So, it comes to show that in all three groups that greater stress is associated with higher drinking to cope motives and higher drinking to cope motives are connected to more alcohol-related problems. The last thing they compared in this study was the difference in genders involving the three main factors, perceived stress, drinking to cope, and alcohol-related problems. Women reported having a significantly higher perceived stress scores than the scores of the men. When compared which gender was affected more by stress, which in turn lead to drinking to cope motives, women had 57% and men had 28%. Which shows that women are at a greater risk than men for using alcohol and drinking to cope with stress.

The study looked into the association between perfectionism, perceived stress, drinking alcohol to cope, and alcohol related problems in a sample of college students. Those perfectionists that were bad at adapting ended up having significantly higher levels of stress and drank to cope more than perfectionists who could adapt well and non-perfectionists. The perfectionists who adapted well ended up having the least amount of alcohol-related problems, which indicated that if one has healthy levels of high standards it will help to avoid drinking to cope with stress. Every college student that participated in the experiment showed a remarkable unintentional effect that used drinking as a way to cope, which help aid its responsibility as the median between stress and alcohol related issues. It had been shown that perfectionists who were bad at adapting were more likely to drink in order to cope with stress and ended up reporting more alcohol related problems, whereas non perfectionists had higher stress levels and were recorded to have fewer alcohol related issues. Additional investigations came to show that higher stress levels for females, and a secure connection between stress and drinking to cope for females compared to that of males.

I thought that this was a good article and was interested with the topic chosen because as a college student I see and hear about drinking to cope with stress, and how it can lead to alcohol-related problems. It was effective and relevant because it is such a big topic and issue in the young adult population, and now students, parents, and educators can read this study and try and help those who they see struggling to avoid future alcohol-related problems. I thought that their study was clearly written out and explained, so it was easy to understand. Also, I agree that stress can lead to drinking to cope and alcohol-related problems. This study was logical because as I said before there it is no secret young adults in college drink alcohol whether they are of age or not. Some of the reasons they tend to drink is stress from classes and workloads, as well as, if they feel pressured to drink to fit in with the upperclassmen, friends, or teammates.

I feel this study had many good points, but in my opinion I think it had one flaw. The cons of this research is that that it shows how you lean towards drinking and alcohol to cope, but it doesn’t give alternative ways to cope that are less harmful to yourself. The positives of this research is that if you see yourself leaning towards one of the three groups, adaptive perfectionists, maladaptive perfectionists, and non-perfectionists you can see what tendencies you lean towards, so you know to try and find a different way to cope with your problems. I think that the best solution for this issue is to have presentations in schools or work place offices to show that there are other ways to deal with stress besides using alcohol to cope. Alcohol damages the body and ruins you physically, emotionally, and mentally, so if there are ways to avoid using it as a coping method people need to know about it to improve their actions and their health.”

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Negative Consequences of Alcoholism. (2021, Apr 10). Retrieved from