Protective Behavioral Strategies and Alcohol Use Outcomes Among College Students: The Moderating Effects of Negative Affect

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



The current study examined negative affect as a moderator of the relationships between protective behavioral strategies (PBS) used to reduce alcohol-related risk and alcohol use outcomes. Data were obtained from 267 college students using a web-based survey. The use of PBS (i.e., setting a limit on number of drinks, alternating drinks with water, avoiding drinking games) was associated with alcohol use and negative alcohol-related consequences. Negative affect symptoms moderated these relationships such that these relationships were stronger for those students who reported a greater number of negative affect symptoms. The findings indicate that the use of PBS by college students who consume alcohol are more protective for those with poorer mental health.


At the time the article was researched and written Ashley Loser and Amanda Tyrrell were undergraduates majoring in Psychology at Sacred Heart University.