Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Environmental and Occupational Health

First Committee Member

Timothy Grigsby

Second Committee Member

Jason Flatt

Third Committee Member

Maxim Gakh

Fourth Committee Member

Annie Lindsay

Fifth Committee Member

Barbara Brents

Number of Pages



Over 40% of the United States (US) population aged 18 to 25 is enrolled at postsecondary institutions, and 31.4% of college students report risky alcohol use (i.e., binge drinking). Identifying risk and protective factors for this population is a public health priority. The primary objective of this study was to examine the additive and multiplicative relationship of prosocial tendencies and social anxiety on hazardous drinking (AUDIT scores). A secondary aim was to examine whether these relationships differed by participation in college organizations (Greekaffiliation, athletic participation, both, and neither). Cross-sectional data were collected from 9,196 college students (ages 18-25) from 12 US colleges and universities. Multivariate linear regression models for the total sample and stratified by organization participation were used to assess relationships between altruistic prosocial tendencies, public prosocial tendencies, social anxiety, and AUDIT scores. Findings indicate that prosocial tendencies (altruism and public) and social anxiety had direct relationships with AUDIT scores. Interaction terms indicated that the relationship between prosocial tendencies and AUDIT scores varied by level of social anxiety. Findings changed as a function of participation in Greek organizations and athletics. This study suggests that problem alcohol use differs among subpopulations of college students, and efforts to reduce college student drinking should further explore intrapersonal factors within peer-group contexts. Indicated prevention and intervention efforts designed to target prosocial tendencies and social anxiety should be based on their involvement in organized groups instead of developing universal programs.


Alcohol Use; College students drinking; Hazardous drinking; Prosocial behaviors; Social Anxiety


Public Health

File Format


File Size

1361 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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