Abstract Relations between personality domains, internal drinking motives, alcohol use, and alcohol-related problems were examined. Undergraduate student drinkers ( N = 521) completed the NEO-FFI, the Modified DMQ-R, a quantity/frequency measure of alcohol use, and the RAPI. A path analysis was performed to test a theoretical model of relations between these variables which specified internal drinking motives as mediators of the relations between personality domains and alcohol use/drinking consequences. Coping-depression drinking motives were predicted by Neuroticism, coping-anxiety drinking motives by Neuroticism and low Conscientiousness, and enhancement drinking motives by Extraversion and low Conscientiousness. Moreover, heavier drinking was predicted by enhancement motives, while alcohol-related problems were predicted by both coping-anxiety and coping-depression drinking motives. The results support the distinction between coping-anxiety and coping-depression drinking motives in that a different pattern of personality domains was associated with each.