Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Robert Schlauch, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Mark Goldman, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Joseph Vandello, Ph.D.


Alcohol Use, Free Associates, Gender, Gender Roles, Precarious Manhood


Drinking among college students has remained a prominent problem within the United States, with more than 50% of college students drinking alcohol, 30% considered binge drinkers, and 9% considered heavy drinkers (SAMHSA, 2018). Evidence also shows that males are more likely to partake in risky drinking behaviors (e.g., binge drinking or drinking to intoxication) and are at higher risk to be diagnosed with a alcohol use disorder when compared to women (Iwamoto et al. 2014; Grant et al., 2004). Recent findings suggest that adherence to particular masculine norms as a risk factor for problematic alcohol use among men (Mahalik, 2000; Lemle & Mishkind, 1989; Peralta, 2007; Iwamoto et al., 2011; Liu & Iwamoto, 2007; Locke & Mahalik, 2005; Radimer & Rowan-Kenyon, 2019), and that drinking in itself may be seen as masculine. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the ways gender threat and perceived loss of manhood, can influence drinking behavior. Using an online cue-reactivity task, the interaction of gender and gender threat in the prediction of alcohol motivation and expectancies was assessed in a college sample. Results indicated that while men were significantly more likely to approach alcohol when compared to women there was no effect of gender threat on alcohol motivations. Furthermore, women who were threatened were less likely to have positive expectancies towards alcohol when compared to women who were not threatened. Lastly, no interaction of gender and gender threat was found on measures of anxiety. Surprisingly, both men and women who were threatened responded similarly on all measures of anxiety except for one. These findings highlight the need for further studies to investigate the role of gender threat on alcohol motivation and expectancies within a male and female sample.