Social and psychological influences on emerging adult drinking behavior

Helene Raskin White, Kristina Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

111 Scopus citations


Emerging adulthood, the transitional period between high school and young adulthood, is marked by the formation of identity, the establishment of more mature interpersonal and intimate relationships, and the transition to new adult-type roles. It also is a time of increased alcohol use and abuse, which can have long-term effects on both physical and psychological well-being and may have implications for the attainment of traditional adult roles. Gender, race/ethnicity, marital status, college, employment, peer and family influences, individual temperament, and attitudes about drinking all influence drinking behavior in this population. Attending college may represent a special risk to emerging adults, as increases in alcohol availability and acceptance of drinking on college campuses may lead to increases in heavy drinking among students. The nonstudent population of emerging adults also is an important target for preventive interventions, especially because people in this segment of the population may be less likely to mature out of heavy drinking patterns established during adolescence. Thus, the transition from high school to young adulthood appears to be an ideal developmental turning point during which to target interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)182-190
Number of pages9
JournalAlcohol Research and Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


  • AOD effects and consequences
  • AOD use pattern
  • AOD(alcohol and other drug) use, abuse and dependence
  • Causes of AODU (alcohol and other drug use)
  • Drinking behavior
  • Heavy drinking
  • Undergraduate student
  • Young adult
  • Young adulthood

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