Social Support and the Rehabilitation of Alcohol-Impaired Drivers: Drinking Motives as Moderators

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3 Scopus citations


Alcohol-impaired driving is a common and costly public health problem associated with alcohol misuse. This investigation aims to understand the role of social support and drinking motives in motivating alcohol-impaired drivers to reduce alcohol use. One hundred nineteen participants with a history of driving-while-intoxicated arrest were recruited from either a correctional treatment facility (n = 59) or the community (n = 60) and asked about their motivation to change alcohol use. Motivation to change was tested in relationships with two types of social support (i.e. Abstinence-Specific Social Support and General Social Support) and drinking motives (Coping, Enhancement, and Social Motives). The results showed: (1) only Abstinence-Specific Social Support was positively associated with motivation to change; (2) Coping and Social Motives had a negative association with motivation to change; (3) the impact of Abstinence-Specific Social Support on motivation to change was greater among those with a stronger Enhancement Motives. In other words, those who drink primarily for pleasure showed a greater increase in motivation to change when more Abstinence-Specific Social Support is available, compared to those with lower Enhancement Motives. The findings of this investigation contribute to our knowledge of the roles of communication in the rehabilitation of alcohol-impaired drivers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)540-550
Number of pages11
JournalHealth Communication
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication


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