The Influence of Gender, Anxiety and Food Cravings on Alcohol Use within a University Population

Marissa Jaques, Peta Stapleton

Abstract


The present study aimed to investigate the effect of gender, anxiety and food cravings on alcohol use within a university population. University students (n = 164) completed a survey containing a demographic questionnaire, the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, the State Trait Anxiety Inventory and the Food Cravings Inventory. The results of hierarchical multiple regression analyses concluded that gender was a significant predictor of alcohol use in university students, with males reporting increased levels of alcohol consumption than females. In addition, gender was also found to be a significant predictor of trait anxiety, with females reporting greater levels of trait anxiety than males. Furthermore, food cravings were also a significant predictor of alcohol use in university students. Unexpectedly, state and trait anxiety failed to significantly predict alcohol use in the current sample, and possible explanations for this are provided. The findings are in line with empirical literature and are relevant to the incentive model, motivational model of alcohol use and outcome expectancy theory. Future research calls for a more comprehensive analysis of the relationships between these variables in order to better educate members of this population on safer alcohol related practices.


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