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The Relationship Between Sense of Coherence, Readiness to Change, and Alcohol Use in Emerging Adults
AuthorKnuppenburg, Ryan M.
Human Development and Family Studies
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The highest rate of alcohol use in the United States is among individuals aged 18-25, the emerging adult population (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Drinking patterns at this age can often extend into habitual behaviors which cause lasting impacts on adult life. Sense of Coherence (SOC) helps an individual look at life in a positive manner to overcome stressful events and buffer against negative alcohol related outcomes (Tobamidanik & Zabkiewicz, 2009). Readiness to Change (RTC) allows individuals to be aware of problem drinking, increase motivation to stay in treatment, and is linked to successful treatment outcomes (DiClemente et al., 2010). Correlational and regression analyses were used in a data sample of 180 emerging adult college students to explore the relationship between these constructs and examine predictors which may help promote positive outcomes for substance abusers. Results indicated that RTC was positively correlated with SOC (r = .185, p = .013*) and alcohol use (r = .459, p = <.001*). However, SOC did not have a relationship with alcohol use (r = .064, p = .392). Environmental risk was positively related with RTC, alcohol use, and other substance use, but not SOC. Regression analysis indicated that alcohol use, ethnicity, and SOC significantly predicted RTC (Adjusted R2 = .281*). Furthermore, sexual orientation, college level, RTC, and biological sex all significantly predicted SOC (Adjusted R2 = .108*). The implication of this study is that SOC can be integrated into RTC to help advance the understanding of motivation to change drinking behaviors in emerging adults.