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WSU researches patterns of heavy alcohol use and life commitments in at-risk young adults
Date:5/8/2012

ative social investment. Such interventions could last eight to 10 weeks and include a social cognitive psychology principle called "implementation intentions."

For example, Bogg said, when a student is tempted to go out on a Thursday night before an exam on Friday, that student can be taught to develop their own concrete and specific alternatives, such as planning and committing to study with a friend at a library or cafe.

Interventions also could involve inducements for social investment by clarifying individuals' goals and providing accountability for those goals.

"Some students come in with a good understanding of what it takes to succeed; others with no tools at all," Bogg said, noting that drinking can interfere with poorly formed goals.

"Bringing those goals to the fore can have two benefits," he said. "One is curtailing excessive alcohol consumption; the other is helping the person achieve those personal goals that relate to educational development and career aspirations."

Emerging adulthood is a relatively new life stage in the developed world, Bogg said. It can be a time of personal exploration and trying different roles without many serious consequences. However, as economic conditions stagnate and the job market becomes more competitive, he believes shortening that period could prove useful for some people.

"If maturing out of excessive alcohol use is a developmental process, then providing a little inducement and training to help people further commit to a role in which they're already engaged might help push them toward healthier drinking patterns and increased psychological maturity."


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Contact: Julie O'Connor
julie.oconnor@wayne.edu
313-577-8845
Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research
Source:Eurekalert

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