Profiles of college drinkers defined by alcohol behaviors at the week level: Replication across semesters and prospective associations with hazardous drinking and dependence-related symptoms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Types of college drinkers have been identified using traditional measures (e.g., 12-month drinking frequency). We used an alternative multidimensional approach based on daily reports of alcohol behaviors to identify college drinker statuses, each with a unique behavioral profile. The current study aimed to (a) identify drinker statuses at the week level across four semesters, (b) examine the predictive utility of drinker status by testing associations with senior-year hazardous drinking and dependence symptoms, and (c) identify concurrent predictors (gender, drinking motivations, hazardous drinking, any dependence symptoms) of senior-year drinker status. We also compared the week-level drinker statuses with drinker statuses identified using traditional measures. Method: A multi-ethnic sample of U.S. college students completed 14-day bursts of daily web surveys across college (91%–96% completed ≥6 daily reports of the sampled week). Analyses focus on nine alcohol-related behaviors (including estimated blood alcohol concentration, pregaming, and drinking games) assessed daily in spring/sophomore year to fall/senior year and drinking motivations, hazardous drinking, and dependence symptoms assessed fall/senior year (n = 569; 56% women). Results: Four week-level drinker statuses were replicated across semesters: Nondrinker, Light Weekend, Heavy Weekend, and Heavy Frequent. Across semesters, drinker status was associated with senior-year hazardous drinking and any dependence symptoms. Senior-year fun/social motivations were also associated with senioryear drinker status. Differences in behavioral profiles between weeklevel drinker statuses and those identified using traditional measures were found. Conclusions: Replicable week-level drinker statuses were identified, suggesting consistency in possible types of drinking weeks. Drinker statuses were predictive of senior-year hazardous drinking and dependence symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-50
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of studies on alcohol and drugs
Volume77
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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