Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Kenneth DeBono




alcohol, substance abuse, exercise, coping mechanism


The current study examined the effect of exercise habits on alcohol expectancies and drinking behaviors. Previous research has suggested that under times of stress, individuals, especially without alternative effective coping mechanisms, often turn to alcohol (Cooper, Russell, Skinner, Frone, & Mudar, 1992). Exercise and alcohol produce many of the same psychological effects and both serve as stress reducers (Brown, Read, Marcus, Jakicic, Strong, Oakley, Ramsey, Kahler, Stuart, Dubreuil, & Gordon, 2010). The Discounting Principal reveals a tendency to discount all other causes when there is support that a given cause is already known to be responsible for a given event (Ahn & Bailenson, 1996). Since exercise and alcohol are both used to alleviate stress and exercise is a more effective coping mechanism than alcohol use, exercising individuals may discount alcohol as a stress reducer. Therefore, the current study hypothesized that under times of stress, individuals who exercise will have less positive expectancies of alcohol than those who do not exercise and will therefore drink less. Results revealed that exercise was not a significant indicator of alcohol expectancies and drinking behavior. However, alcohol expectancies were a significant indicator of drinking behavior.