Duke University study points to motivators

Researchers at Duke University have identified the two primary drivers for stress-related college student drinking. According to a study published in the journal Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders in which 200 students participated, a strong need for a reward and the lack of fear of negative consequences heavily influence heavy campus drinking.

“Imagine the push and pull of opposing drives when a mouse confronts a hunk of cheese in a trap. Too much drive for the cheese and too little fear of the trap leads to one dead mouse,” study researcher Ahmad Hariri, professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University, said in a statement.

In the study, fMRI scans were conducted on participants, and researchers looked for activity in the reward and fear centers of the brain. According to the Huffington Post,

Scientists found that students who reported stress-related alcohol abuse also had high reactivity in the amygdala brain region’s threat circuitry and the ventral striatum brain region’s reward circuitry.

This ground-breaking study presents ample opportunity for pre-screening students who may be at risk for stress-related consumption.

One Response to “Duke University study points to motivators”

  1. Edwin Bonilla Says:

    Decreasing the wanting for the reward, binge drinking, can be done with effective alcohol education and a drinking age of 18. Students should only be pre-screened if they have done so voluntarily. The Duke University study is good research in which although ageists can use it to justify the ageist drinking age, supporters of a drinking age of 18 know that more has to be done to reduce binge drinking in universities. One of the important answers to this problem is evident in that our position says a big part of the answer.