Patterns of alcohol use and consequences among empirically derived sexual minority subgroups.

  • Talley A
  • Sher K
  • Steinley D
 et al. 
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OBJECTIVE: The current study develops an empirically determined classification of sexual orientation developmental patterns based on participants' annual reports of self-identifications, sexual attractions, and sexual behaviors during the first 4 years of college. A secondary aim of the current work was to examine trajectories of alcohol involvement among identified subgroups. METHOD: Data were drawn from a subsample of a longitudinal study of incoming first-time college students at a large, public university (n = 2,068). Longitudinal latent class analysis was used to classify sexual minority participants into empirically derived subgroups based on three self-reported facets of sexual orientation. Multivariate repeated-measures analyses were conducted to examine how trajectories of alcohol involvement varied by sexual orientation class membership. RESULTS: Four unique subclasses of sexual orientation developmental patterns were identified for males and females: one consistently exclusively heterosexual group and three sexual minority groups. Despite generally similar alcohol use patterns among subclasses, certain sexual minority subgroups reported elevated levels of alcohol-related negative consequences and maladaptive motivations for use throughout college compared with their exclusively heterosexual counterparts. CONCLUSIONS: Elevations in coping and conformity motivations for alcohol use were seen among those subgroups that also evidenced heightened negative alcohol-related consequences. Implications and limitations of the current work are discussed.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Alcohol Drinking: psychology
  • Bisexuality
  • Bisexuality: psychology
  • Female
  • Female: psychology
  • Heterosexuality
  • Heterosexuality: psychology
  • Homosexuality
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Male: psychology
  • Minority Groups
  • Minority Groups: psychology
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Sexual Behavior: psychology

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  • Amelia E Talley

  • Kenneth J Sher

  • Douglas Steinley

  • Phillip K Wood

  • Andrew K Littlefield

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