Who does not cut down? Comparing characteristics and drinking motives of drinkers and abstainers during the exam periods Academic Article uri icon


  • Drinking alcohol during the exams can affect academic performance and future career options, but is rarely investigated. Drinking motives, sociodemographics and personality characteristics are investigated in nonabstainers and weekly drinkers during the exams.7,181 Belgian university students who anonymously responded to an email invitation to an online survey.Logistic regressions and mixed design analysis of variance on cross-sectional data.One-third of the students continued drinking during the exams, with 40% drinking weekly. Nonabstainers were mainly men, elder, internally motivated when drinking, and housed with parents or independently. Weekly drinkers were similar, except mainly housed in student apartments or independently. Personality characteristics were nonsignificant. All drinking motives were less pronounced during the exams, with smaller differences for internal motives.Mainly linked to internal drinking motives, drinking during the exams in higher education is underestimated. The characteristics and motives of students doing so can be used in future interventions.


publication date

  • 2017