This study examines the potential protective nature of aspirations that are civically oriented against alcohol abuse among college students. We examined the drinking behaviors and academic/professional aspirations of two incoming first-year student cohorts at a large private university. Chi-square analysis revealed significant and consistent findings across cohorts: students who selected their major because they “wanted to make a difference in the world and contribute to society” (intrinsic aspiration) reported lower alcohol use and higher abstinence than their peers. Students aspiring to “make a lot of money” (extrinsic aspiration) had relatively higher rates of alcohol use. Our findings support the potential benefits of civic engagement and its implications for substance abuse prevention in higher education.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/dessa_bergen-cico/2/