The aim of this study was to investigate, in a sample of university students, the relationship between substance use and life strivings (Emmons, 1986). The hypothesis was that substance use is seen as facilitating the attainment of some types of strivings, in particular in the domains of social relationships and well being. The sample included 698 students enrolled in different years of course; 37.8% of them were male. Results showed a more frequent use of substances by males, by students living on campus and an increase in substance use across the university years. Alcohol use is considered as facilitating the achievement of strivings in the social domain (e.g. getting to know new people, feeling at ease in group situations), whereas the use of hashish/marijuana is associated with the belief that such substance may facilitate the achievement of life strivings related to personal growth and psychological well being.
Keywords: Alcohol, marijuana, life strivings, university students