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Hazardous drinking in New Zealand sportspeople: level of sporting participation and drinking motives

O'Brien, K.S., Ali, A., Cotter, J.D., O'Shea, R.P. and Stannard, S. (2007) Hazardous drinking in New Zealand sportspeople: level of sporting participation and drinking motives. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 42 (4). pp. 376-382.

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Aims: To examine the relationship between athlete drinking motives and hazardous drinking across differing levels of sporting participation (club vs elite-provincial vs elite-international). Methods: Data from 1214 New Zealand sports people was collected. We assessed hazardous drinking with the WHO's AUDIT questionnaire and sportspeople's psychosocial reasons for drinking with the ADS. Level of sporting participation (club/social, provincial/state, or international/ olympic level) was also assessed. Results: Hazardous drinking behaviours differed across levels of sporting participation, with elite-provincial sportspeople showing the highest level of hazardous drinking, club/social sportspeople the next highest and elite-international sportspeople the lowest. Sportspeople who placed a greater emphasis on drinking as a reward for participating in their sports tended to display more hazardous drinking behaviours, but other ADS motives differed over level of sporting participation. Elite-provincial sportspeople and elite-international sportspeople placed more emphasis on drinking as a way to cope with the stresses of participating in their sports. A relationship between team/group motives and AUDIT scores was fully mediated by positive reinforcement motives, and partially mediated by stress-related coping motives. Conclusions: These findings have implications for alcohol education programs targeted at sportspeople and sport administration, and may help improve the efficacy and focus of intervention programs.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Psychology and Exercise Science
Publisher: Oxford University Press on behalf of the Medical Council on Alcohol
Copyright: © The Author 2007
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