Title page for ETD etd-07242012-040154

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Li, Li
URN etd-07242012-040154
Title Alcohol use among military personnel :an examination of demographic and sociological determinants
Degree Master of Science
Department Sociology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Ballweg, John A. Committee Chair
Bryant, Clifton D. Committee Member
Miethe, Terance D. Committee Member
Shoemaker, Donald J. Committee Member
  • Soldiers
Date of Defense 1989-04-05
Availability restricted

The objective of this thesis was to examine the demographic characteristics and the drink-related determinants of alcohol use among U.S. military personnel. The data were obtained from The 1985 Worldwide Survey of Alcohol and Nonmedical Drug Use among Military Personnel which included 17,328 active duty military personnel. Analysis of Variance and Pearson r were used to examine the zero-order relationships among all independent and dependent variables in the study. Multiple Regression and Path Analysis were used to reveal the relationships between demographic and drink-related variables in predicting alcohol use.

Findings from bivariate analyses explored the zero-order relationships between alcohol use and demographic attributes as well as drink-related determinants. It was found that the following characteristics were more frequently associated with military personnel who used alcohol: male, black, younger, not living with a spouse, in lower military ranks and with lower educational attainment. Furthermore, personnel who were strongly influenced by their drinking peers, considered the positive personal benefits of alcohol use, had favorable attitudes toward alcohol use, and encountered more serious problem situations were found to exhibit higher levels of alcohol use.

Findings from multiple regressions and path analyses indicated that personal benefit was the most important determinant in predicting alcohol use. lt was found that the effects of problem situations on alcohol use were largely mediated by personal benefit. Moreover, peer influence not only directly affected alcohol use, but also mediated the effect of age on alcohol use. Surprisingly, it was found that normative definition toward alcohol use was not a good predictor of alcohol use. Both direct and mediating effects of normative definition on alcohol use were weak and negligible. Based on the findings of the study, implications for academic research on alcohol use were also discussed in the thesis.

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