Proximal predictors of alcohol use among Japanese college students

Staci Wendt, Cynthia Mohr, Mo Wang, Sarah Haverly

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Objectives: This study investigated how negative social interactions (e.g., disagreeing with a friend) predicted subsequent drinking behaviors among Japanese college students. Because of social influences on drinking, and cultural norms for maintaining social harmony and making amends in response to social transgressions in Japanese culture, the authors hypothesized that students would consume more alcohol socially following increases in negative social interactions. Drinking refusal self-efficacy and social self-efficacy were also studied as moderators of social drinking. Methods: Fifty-five college students (79% women) of legal drinking age completed a once-daily Internet survey for 30 days, providing 1195 daily reports of drinking and social interaction. Prior to the daily survey, participants reported on Drinking Refusal Self-Efficacy and Social Self-Efficacy in an initial Internet-based assessment. Results: Students drank more socially in the evening following daytime increases in negative social interactions, relative to evenings following fewer such exchanges (b =.23, p <.001). At the between-person level, students who reported stronger confidence in refusing to drink drank less socially compared to those who reported less confidence in drinking refusal (b = −.53, p <.001). Yet, those with higher social self-efficacy, which is typically a health-protective factor, drank more socially compared to their counterparts (b =.32, p <.05). Conclusions and Importance: Japanese college students increased their social drinking in response to daily negative social interactions, consistent with the notion that this drinking pattern represents efforts to make amends to others. Interventions targeted toward increasing students' confidence in refusing to drink may be beneficial in reducing social drinking in this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)763-772
Number of pages10
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • college student drinking
  • daily process methodology
  • Japan
  • self-efficacy
  • social drinking

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