Bullying and fighting among adolescents — Do drinking motives and alcohol use matter? Academic Article uri icon


  • The present study investigates the direct and indirect links (through alcohol use) between adolescents' drinking motives and violent behaviors (i.e. bullying and fighting). Structural equation models were estimated based on a national representative sample of 5419 8th to 10th graders in Switzerland (mean age 15.0, SD=.86). Results demonstrate that enhancement motives were only indirectly linked (through alcohol use) to violent behaviors, whereas coping motives were both directly and indirectly linked, particularly among girls. No consistent link was found for social motives. Despite the negative indirect link (through alcohol use), conformity motives were the strongest predictor of bullying and fighting among boys, and even stronger than alcohol use itself. To conclude, drinking motives have a bearing on other problem behaviors besides excessive drinking, and may be useful for early identification and intervention for students who are likely to experience a variety of problems.

publication date

  • December 2007