The association between multidimensional feminine norms, binge drinking and alcohol-related problems among young adult college women

Derek Kenji Iwamoto, William Corbin, Stephanie Takamatsu, Jeanett Castellanos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Alcohol consumption among women has steadily increased over the past 30 years, and women's drinking behavior is now similar to that of men's. The escalation of alcohol use among women highlights the critical need to examine gender issues and motivational factors that contribute to binge drinking and related problems within this population. Feminine norms or the socially constructed beliefs, messages and attitudes about what it means to be a woman may contribute to within-group differences in drinking patterns among women. The current study examined the relationship between multidimensional feminine norms and binge drinking and alcohol-related problems among 1910 college women. Participants completed a self-report measure of binge drinking, alcohol-related problems, conformity to feminine norms, alcohol expectancies and descriptive norms. Controlling for the covariates descriptive norms, positive alcohol expectancies, and sorority membership, adherence to feminine norms related to sexual fidelity and belief that one needs to be sweet and nice were negatively associated to binge drinking, while adhering to investment in appearance was positively associated to binge drinking and alcohol-related problems. Distinct feminine norms also had a significant indirect effect on alcohol-related problems through binge drinking. This study significant contributes to the literature by elucidating the theoretically gender-relevant risk and protective aspects of feminine norms in relation to binge drinking and related problems, and provides important information that might be used in clinical and prevention efforts to reduce alcohol-related harm among a vulnerable group: college women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-249
Number of pages7
JournalAddictive Behaviors
StatePublished - Jan 2018


  • Alcohol
  • Alcohol-related problems
  • Binge drinking
  • College
  • Feminine norms
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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