Pre-game drinking among young adults and its association with positive and negative alcohol consequences

Brian H. Calhoun, Ashley N. Linden-Carmichael

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Pre-gaming, or drinking before going out, is common among young adults and associated with heavier drinking and negative consequences. However, findings have been mixed as to whether a unique, day-level association between pre-gaming and negative consequences exists independent of alcohol intake. It is also unknown whether young adults experience more positive consequences of alcohol use on days they engage in pre-gaming. This study tested day-level associations between pre-gaming and positive and negative consequences, controlling for same-day alcohol intake, as well as whether these associations were moderated by person- and day-level variables. Methods: Participants were 148 young adult heavy drinkers (Mage = 20.30, SDage = 1.45, 57.4% female) who reported past-month simultaneous alcohol and marijuana use. For up to 14 consecutive days, participants completed electronic surveys asking about their drinking behaviors and consequences the previous day. Results: Prior to adjusting for alcohol intake, Poisson multilevel models showed that participants reported more negative and positive consequences on days they pre-gamed and those who reported pre-gaming more often throughout the study also experienced more negative and positive consequences overall. After controlling for alcohol intake, a positive, day-level association between pre-gaming and positive consequences remained. There was no evidence of moderation of study associations by person- or day-level variables. Conclusion: The unique association between pre-gaming and positive consequences may help explain why pre-gaming is linked with heavy drinking and other risky behaviors as positive consequences have been shown to reinforce such behaviors. Findings suggest pre-gaming may be a useful intervention point for alcohol reduction programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number107120
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Volume124
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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