Objective: To help clarify the effect of gender on the bidirectional relationship between alcohol use and strenuous physical activity in college students. Participants: Five hundred twenty-four (52% female) college students recruited in August 2008 and 2009 and followed up in April 2009 and April 2011, respectively. Methods: Participants reported their alcohol use and strenuous physical activity on 2 occasions (baseline and follow-up) spaced approximately 1 or 2 years apart. Results: For females, alcohol use quantity at baseline was associated with increased strenuous physical activity at 1- and 2-year follow-ups, and alcohol use frequency at baseline was associated with decreased strenuous physical activity at 2-year follow-up. For males, alcohol use frequency at baseline predicted decreased strenuous physical activity at 1-year follow-up. Conclusions: Gender differences may be explained from an eating disorders perspective such that women use physical activity as a compensatory strategy to combat potential weight gain from calories consumed during alcohol use.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Funding for this study was provided by National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) grant DA005312 awarded to the University of Kentucky Center on Drug Abuse Research Translation (CDART) and National Cancer Institute (NCI) grant CA181351 awarded to J. L. Burris.
Davis, Heather A.; Riley, Elizabeth N.; Smith, Gregory T.; Milich, Richard S.; and Burris, Jessica L., "Alcohol Use and Strenuous Physical Activity in College Students: A Longitudinal Test of 2 Explanatory Models of Health Behavior" (2016). Psychology Faculty Publications. 189.