Associations Between Trait Boredom and Frequency of Cannabis, Alcohol, and Tobacco Use in College Students



Objective: Boredom is a common emotion associated with substance use in college students – a group already at risk for substance misuse. The purpose of this study is to understand how two types of trait boredom (susceptibility and proneness) in college students are associated with frequency of cannabis, alcohol, and tobacco use. Method: Data were collected from an online survey completed by a sample of undergraduate students (N = 414, Mage = 19.55, 84.5% female; 64.3% White) enrolled at a large public university in the northwest. Multivariate logistic regression was used to evaluate the association between trait boredom and frequency of cannabis, alcohol, and tobacco use after controlling for age, sex, and race. Results: Boredom susceptibility was a significant predictor of annual, monthly, and weekly cannabis and alcohol use, but only annual and monthly tobacco use. Boredom proneness was only a significant predictor for monthly alcohol use. Conclusions: Findings were generally consistent across types of substances and frequency of use for boredom susceptibility, indicating students higher in susceptibility, rather than proneness, are a subgroup to target prevention interventions to alleviate boredom and subsequent maladaptive coping mechanisms.