Date of Award

May 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Sarah E. Woolf-King


Coping Motives, Emerging Adult, LGBTQ, Minority Stress

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences


Alcohol use and negative consequences are higher among individuals of marginalized sexualities and genders (MS/G), and emerging adults within this category face particular risks. According to Meyer’s (2003) minority stress model, the higher prevalence of alcohol use and negative consequences among MS/G is an attempt to cope with proximal/internal and distal/external minority stressors. The purpose of this study was to examine whether coping motives moderated the relationship between internal minority stress and alcohol use outcomes. We hypothesized that higher internal minority and emerging adult stressors would be positively associated with higher levels of drinking-related outcomes, and that coping would moderate this association, with those higher in coping motives reporting a stronger positive relationship between internal minority stress and alcohol use outcomes. 122 MS/G college students (ages 18-25) completed an online survey assessing their alcohol use and associated negative consequences, internal and external minority stressors, and drinking motives. Results of hierarchical linear regressions revealed that while coping motives positively, associated with alcohol-related negative consequences (β = .38, p < .001) and quantity of alcohol consumption (β = .22, p < .01), there was not a significant interaction between coping motives and internal minority stressors. However, both coping motives (β = .22, p < .01) and internal minority stressors (β = .22, p < .01) were positively associated with frequency of binge drinking, with a significant interaction between internal minority stress and coping (β = .07, p < .05). These results suggest that MS/G college students who endorse greater coping motives consume greater quantities of alcohol and are at greater risk for alcohol-related negative consequences. Only binge drinking was significantly associated with internal minority stress and moderated by coping, raising the possibility that internal minority stress is significantly related to alcohol use only at higher levels of alcohol consumption.


Open Access



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