Article - pre-print
The Relational Health Indices (RHI) is a relatively new measure that assesses the strength of relationships. It has been found that relational health has a protective factor for women, such that it enhances positive experiences and limits negative ones. The current study is the first to use the RHI to examine the effect of relational health on alcohol consumption and alcohol consequences. First year college women were given questionnaires assessing relational health, drinking motives, and alcohol use in their first few months at a mid-sized, private university. Due to the social nature of college settings, it was predicted that relational health would moderate the relationship between motives and alcohol consumption. Further, due to the protective factor of relational health, it was predicted that relational health would attenuate the relationship between drinking and negative consequences. These hypotheses were supported. Relational health, moderated the relationship between both social and coping drinking motives and drinking, such that women with strong relational health towards their peers and community who also had high social and coping motives, drank more than those with weaker relationships. Paradoxically, relational health also moderated the relationship between drinking and consequences such that heavy drinking women with strong relational health experienced fewer negative consequences than women with weaker relational health. Results indicate that although relational health is associated with an increase in alcohol consumption, it may also serve as a protective factor for alcohol-related negative consequences. Future research and interventions may seek to de-link the relational health-drinking connection in the college student environment.
This is an author-manuscript of an article accepted for publication in Addictive Behaviors following peer review. The version of record: LaBrie, J. W., Thompson, A. D., Ferraiolo, P., Garcia, J. A., Huchting, K., & Shelesky, K. (2008). The differential impact of relational health on alcohol consumption and consequences in first year college women. Addictive Behaviors, 33(2), 266–278. is available online at: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2007.09.010.
LaBrie, J. W., Thompson, A. D., Ferraiolo, P., Garcia, J. A., Huchting, K., & Shelesky, K. (2008). The differential impact of relational health on alcohol consumption and consequences in first year college women. Addictive Behaviors, 33(2), 266–278. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2007.09.010