Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Keith W. Beard

Second Advisor

Penny Koontz

Third Advisor

April Fugett


Considerable research has demonstrated that adolescents, as a whole, are experimenting with alcohol at alarming rates (Biddle, Bank, & Marlin, 1980; Donath, et al., 2011;King, Chassin, & Molina, 2009). However, research is very mixed on findings identifying which groups of adolescents tend to be most at risk for using alcohol, as well as the reasons these groups identify for such experimentation (Carlo, Crockett, Wilkinson, & Beal, 2011; Coomber, Toumbourou, Miller, Staiger, Hemphill, & Catalano, 2011). The current study examined participants from various community types and sexual orientations, in a retrospective manner. Participants (ages 18 and over) answered questions on a survey designed by the researcher (adapted from the AUDIT-C, the MDMQ-R, and the PSS) regarding past and present alcohol use. Findings from the survey were analyzed to determine which group is most likely to use alcohol during adolescence, motivations for alcohol use, and which group is most likely to currently use alcohol. Although stress does not appear to predict alcohol consumption during adolescence, significant findings were observed regarding the groups most likely to consume alcohol and the reasons these participants gave for engaging in this behavior, both currently and during adolescence. Sexual orientation was a significant factor for understanding motivations for drinking alcohol, as well as the amount of alcohol consumed, during adolescence and presently. Community type was only significant when considering the amount of alcohol consumed during adulthood, with rural participants reporting more alcohol consumed than their urban counterparts. The current study was performed to further our understanding of alcohol use in adolescence and possibly give aim for intervention strategies which could potentially target adolescents who identify with groups who are found to be most “at-risk.”


Young adults -- Alcohol use.

Teenagers -- Alcohol use.

Social influence.