Exploring the relationship between alcohol consumption and joining the military


Shirvani, Mojtaba & Reed, Mark (2014). Exploring the relationship between alcohol consumption and joining the military. Student Research Symposium. San Diego State University.


Alcohol consumption is a part of military history but despite its impacts in terms of both short-term and long-term consequences, researchers seldom explore the association between alcohol consumption in young adults and military enlistment. Data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health in the United States were utilized to investigate the role of early alcohol consumption in enlistment of young adults ages 24 to 32 (n = 12,288). Multivariate logistic regression models were employed to explore the research question. Results indicate that increases in alcohol consumption in this population (i.e., frequency, rate, heavy episodic and number of times drunk in the past year) is positively associated with joining the military. Even after controlling for various sociodemographic characteristics associated with military enlistment (i.e. education, race, gender and age), the odds of joining the military increased as alcohol consumption intensified. Findings highlight the notion that those who drink continue this behavior after joining the military and as such maybe self-selecting into military service that has a known alcohol history and culture. These findings underscore the importance of identifying this population in an attempt to inform policy and prevention programs to significantly improve both short-term and long-term consequences.



Reference Type

Conference proceeding

Book Title

Student Research Symposium


Shirvani, Mojtaba
Reed, Mark

Year Published


City of Publication

San Diego State University

Reference ID