Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Clinton Layne

Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


The relationship between drinking patterns of college students and their measured level of assertiveness was examined in this study. The subjects were categorized into six groups based on their self-reported frequency and amount of drinking. They were also asked to record the number of drinks they had drunk in the prior week. The MacAndrews Alcoholism Scale and the Rathus Assertion Schedule were administered to all the subjects. Pearson Product-moment correlations were calculated to assess the relationship between levels of drinking, the number of drinks in the prior week and scores from the Rathus Assertion Schedule and the MacAndrews Alcoholism Scale. The subjects were divided into two groups based on their scores obtained on the MacAndrews Scale: those whose score was 26 or above (prealcoholics) and those whose score was below 26 (Non-prealcoholic). Pearson Product-moment correlations were calculated to assess the relationship between the variables for these two groups. The results of the analysis did not support previous research that heavy drinking is associated with lower levels of assertiveness in alcoholics. In contrast to previous findings with alcoholics, the results indicated a very limited positive relationship between these variables for the non-prealcoholics, particularly the males, and no relationship at all for the prealcoholic subjects. It is suggested that the lack of assertiveness observed in alcoholics may develop after the onset of their alcoholism.

While it was expected that the drinking level of the subjects would be related to their scores on the MacAndrews Scale this was not the case. This finding suggests that drinking may not be a reliable predictor of alcoholism. Further research is suggested using a larger sample of only prealcoholics to determine what relationships exist between assertiveness, drinking and the prediction of alcoholism.


Applied Behavior Analysis | Experimental Analysis of Behavior | Psychology | Substance Abuse and Addiction