Control and Alcohol-Problem Recognition among College Students

Raluca M. Simons, Austin M. Hahn, Jeffrey S. Simons, Sam Gaster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This study examined negative control (ie, perceived lack of control over life outcomes) and need for control as predictors of alcohol-problem recognition, evaluations (good/bad), and expectancies (likely/unlikely) among college students. The study also explored the interaction between the need for control and alcohol consumption in alcohol-related outcomes. Participants: Participants were a convenience sample of 500 college students from a rural Midwest university. Data were collected during the 2009-2010 academic year. Methods: Participants completed a survey assessing control and alcohol-problem recognit-ion, evaluations, and expectancies. Results: Negative control demonstrated a significant positive association with alcohol-problem recognition, evaluations, and expectancies after controlling for gender and alcohol consumption. Need for control did not have a main effect. However, the interaction was significant in that the association between need for control and negative evaluation of alcohol problems was strongest among participants with the highest levels of alcohol consumption. Conclusions: These results demonstrate that individuals' differences in sense of control are associated with alcohol-problem recognition, evaluations, and expectancies in young adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-379
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of American College Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 18 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Alcohol
  • need for control
  • negative control
  • problem recognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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