Date of Award

12-1-2010

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Kibby, Michelle

Abstract

Although collegiate alcohol use has extensively been studied, there is a lack of research examining alcohol use in college students with learning disabilities (LD), particularly those with reading disabilities (RD). In youth populations there is mixed support indicating that students with LD are at an increased risk for alcohol use compared to students without LD. One theory suggests that LD may be indirectly related to alcohol use, but there does not appear to be research examining whether there is a direct pathway between LD and alcohol use. The goals of this study were to better understand the relation between reading and alcohol use in college students and the psychological well-being of college students with reading difficulties. Results indicated the following: there was no support for a direct pathway between reading ability and alcohol use, college students with low reading achievement did not obtain significantly higher alcohol use scores than students with average or high reading achievement, and there was no significant difference in psychological well-being between students with low, average, and high reading achievement. There was some support for an indirect pathway between reading and alcohol use through correlational analyses; however, reading was not predictive of alcohol use after controlling for gender and ethnicity. Future studies should continue to examine the relation between reading abilities and alcohol use which may lead to a better understanding of the potential difficulties that college students with reading problems encounter.

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