Measuring Drinking Motives in Undergraduates: An Exploration of the Drinking Motives Questionnaire-Revised in Swedish Students



Alcohol consumption is generally high among undergraduate students and may lead to adverse consequences. Drinking motives play a vital role in the development of alcohol-related problems. The Drinking Motives Questionnaire-Revised (DMQ-R) and the short form of DMQ-R, DMQ-R SF, are widely used tools to identify drinking motives. Still, there is a need for further exploration of the instruments in different cultures and settings. The aims of this study were 1) to explore the four-factor structure of the DMQ-R and DMQ-R SF in Swedish undergraduate students 2) to investigate if extracting the SF responses from the DMQ-R is equivalent to the factor structure of the DMQ-R SF 3) to study the association between drinking motives and hazardous drinking.


Data were collected among 536 Swedish undergraduate students and were analyzed by confirmatory factor analyses, Mann-Whitney, chi-square tests and logistic regressions.


We could confirm the four-dimensional structure of both versions of the DMQ. There was a similar (or in fact even slightly better) model fit of the short form and when drawing the SF items. Emotionally oriented motives (enhancement and coping), together with social motives, were strongly associated with hazardous or harmful drinking levels, whereas conformity motives were not. The enhancement motive showed the highest group mean value and was also the most common main motive. Students with hazardous drinking endorsed their motives more strongly than those without hazardous drinking, which is a finding worthy of further investigation.


The DMQ-R SF is suitable and preferable for Swedish student populations and extracting the SF responses from the DMQ-R is equivalent to the factor structure of the DMQ-R SF. In future research, effects of including the DMQ-R SF in preventive strategies and in interventions with risk drinking students would be of particular interest.

Nehlin, C., Öster, C. Measuring drinking motives in undergraduates: an exploration of the Drinking Motives Questionnaire-Revised in Swedish students. Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy 14, 49 (2019) doi:10.1186/s13011-019-0239-9
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