Date of this Version
Published in The American Journal on Addictions 23: 4 (2014), pp. 321-328; doi: 10.1111/j.1521-0391.2014.12119.x
Background and Objectives: Extant research shows a strong relationship between alcohol use problems and sexual aggression. However, less is known about the effect of intermediary factors (eg, alcohol expectations) that may increase the likelihood of and/or explain sexual aggression during alcohol-related incidents. The present study examined alcohol outcome expectancies’ (OE) mediating and/or moderating influence on the relationship between problematic alcohol use severity and sexual aggression among male college students.
Methods and Result: One hundred and forty eight (n = 148) male college students volunteered for the study. Seventyseven males self-reported committing at least one act of sexual aggression in their lifetime. Among those who sexually aggressed, 74% also reported symptoms of problematic drinking. Results show that sexuality-related alcohol OE fully mediated the relationship between problematic alcohol use severity and sexual aggression. Results also showed that aggression-related alcohol OE moderated the relationship between problematic alcohol use severity and sexual aggression. Specifically, aggression-related alcohol OE only influenced the relationship between problematic alcohol use and sexual aggression when alcohol problems were less severe.
Conclusions and Scientific Significance: Discussion implicates the possible role alcohol prevention may play in reducing sexual aggression on college campuses, particularly as it relates to adjusting alcohol OE among those most likely to perpetrate.