Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Katherine B. Novak

Second Advisor

Antonio V. Menéndez Alarcón


Due to the high-risk outcomes of college drinking, much attention and research has focused on the issues of binge drinking, alcohol overconsumption, and the experience of adverse consequences due to drinking on college campuses. Yet, little research has been conducted regarding how college students perceive the consequences of drinking alcohol. This descriptive study examines students’ perceptions of a number of potential alcohol consequences (e.g., having a hangover, being ticketed or arrested, missing class or an assignment, or getting into a physical fight) and the extent to which they view them as motivators or deterrents to future drinking. An online survey was administered to 324 undergraduates from Butler University to examine these ideas. The survey measured participants’ perception of drinking consequences, social motivations to drink, friends’ support of drinking, alcohol use, and experience of drinking consequences. Survey findings revealed students with strong social motivations to drink and with strong support from friends to drink are more likely to perceive drinking consequences as motivators. Further, the survey demonstrated that students with positive perceptions of drinking consequences have higher levels of alcohol consumption than students who perceive alcohol consequences more negatively. The results from this study have the potential to benefit college administrators and researchers working to deter risky drinking and its potential adverse effects for college students.

Included in

Sociology Commons