Profiling of Student-Athletes using Protective Behavioral Strategies and Alcohol Use Based on Cluster Analysis Assignment

Lindsey Sanders, William Dudley, Jeffrey Milroy, David Wyrick


An estimated 2 in 3 college students report consuming alcohol in the past month and 44% of students report engaging in high risk or heavy episodic drinking at least once in the previous 2 weeks. Despite evidence suggesting that participation in sports may be a protective factor for the use of alcohol, recent data from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), finds that 77% college student-athletes report use. Though overall prevalence rates of alcohol consumption are similar among college student-athletes and non-athletes, student-athletes are more likely to engage in binge or high-risk drinking as compared to their non-athlete peers. An overwhelming majority of studies found that protective behavioral strategy (PBS) use was associated with less drinking and alcohol-related problems. There are sport-related factors that have been assessed to determine their association with use of alcohol-related PBS. With known factors in mind, prevention programs are typically developed to effect distal outcomes by way of these, more proximal, intermediate constructs that are thought to be related to the health problem of interest. The purpose of the current study was to examine the structural features that influence whether a given student-athlete will be categorized into one of three groups; a) high-risk drinking behaviors, b) moderate risk drinking behaviors, or c) low risk drinking behaviors.

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