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Exploring the Effect of Exercise on the Relationship between Problematic Drinking and Adverse Consequences among College Freshmen

August 2020


Recent advances when investigating the confusing relationship between alcohol consumption and exercise have focused on adverse alcohol consequences rather than general consumption (Buchholz & Crowther, 2014; Weinstock, Petry, Pescatello, & Henderson, 2016). Although neither study found a relationship between exercise and consequences of drinking, neither study examined the potential moderating effect of exercise on the relationship between drinking and adverse consequences. The present study tested exercise as a protective factor for the adverse consequences of drinking often experienced by college students. Data from first-year undergraduate students (N = 145) who reported the frequency and quantity of their alcohol consumption, frequency of exercise, and problems they experienced as a result of their alcohol consumption. For this study, students who reported drinking alcohol in the last month (N = 71) were included. Exercise was not significantly correlated with alcohol variables (quantity, frequency, RAPI total, and RAPI subfactors); however, analyses revealed that exercise moderated the relationship between the frequency of alcohol consumption and two of the RAPI’s subfactors, Abuse/Dependence and Social Consequences. As participants reported higher amounts of exercise, they endorsed fewer Abuse/Dependence items (F (3, 67) = -.036, p = .003, sr2 = .126) and fewer Social Consequences (F (3, 67) = -.010, p = .042, sr2 = .061). The results suggest exercise may be a valuable safety factor against adverse consequences of drinking.


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7 Oct 2020
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