Social and Psychological Influences on Emerging Adult Drinking Behavior

White, Helene-Raskin; Jackson, Kristina
December 2004
Alcohol Research & Health;2004/2005, Vol. 28 Issue 4, p182
Academic Journal
Emerging adulthood, the transitional period between high school and young adulthood, is marked by the formation of identity, the establishment of more mature interpersonal and intimate relationships, and the transition to new adulttype roles. It also is a time of increased alcohol use and abuse, which can have longterm effects on both physical and psychological wellbeing and may have implications for the attainment of traditional adult roles. Gender, race/ethnicity, marital status, college, employment, peer and family influences, individual temperament, and attitudes about drinking all influence drinking behavior in this population. Attending college may represent a special risk to emerging adults, as increases in alcohol availability and acceptance of drinking on college campuses may lead to increases in heavy drinking among students. The nonstudent population of emerging adults also is an important target for preventive interventions, especially because people in this segment of the population may be less likely to mature out of heavy drinking patterns established during adolescence. Thus, the transition from high school to young adulthood appears to be an ideal developmental turning point during which to target interventions.


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