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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Reactance theory and alcohol consumption laws: further confirmation among collegiate alcohol consumers.

By the late 1980s, the United States legal drinking age had increased to 21 years. Based on psychological reactance theory, one would predict that these law changes would cause underage collegiate consumers to drink more alcohol because of the belief that their behavioral freedom was being reduced. It was hypothesized that underage collegiate alcohol consumers (UC) would drink more than their legal-age peers (LC) if psychological reactance was a contributing factor to consumption, whereas no differences would be present between the UC and LC groups' usage of illicit drugs, as these had not been affected by recent law changes. To test this hypothesis, a sample of 2,142 college students from 10 midwestern postsecondary educational facilities responded to the Alcohol and Other Drug Use Needs Assessment Survey in the spring of 1990. Mann-Whitney U analyses revealed significant differences between groups on alcohol use measures, but no differences were present on illicit substance use measures. These results are interpreted as supporting reactance theory.[1]


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