How Estimation of Drinking Influences Alcohol-Related Consequences Across the First Year of College
Version of Record online: 24 JAN 2014
Copyright © 2014 by the Research Society on Alcoholism
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Volume 38, Issue 4, pages 1160–1166, April 2014
How to Cite
Hultgren, B. A., Cleveland, M. J., Turrisi, R. and Mallett, K. A. (2014), How Estimation of Drinking Influences Alcohol-Related Consequences Across the First Year of College. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 38: 1160–1166. doi: 10.1111/acer.12351
- Issue online: 9 APR 2014
- Version of Record online: 24 JAN 2014
- Manuscript Accepted: 12 NOV 2013
- Manuscript Received: 27 MAR 2013
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Grant Number: R01AA015737
- College Drinking;
- Drinker Types;
- Latent Class Analyses;
- Alcohol-Related Consequences;
- Alcohol Attitudes and Norms
This study examined how well students estimate their overall drinker type and the relation between the accuracy of this estimation with alcohol-related consequences. The study also explored the association between psychosocial alcohol variables and underestimation or overestimation of drinker type.
College students (n = 1,895) completed questionnaires at baseline (precollege matriculation) assessing self-reported drinker types (SI), protective and risky drinking behaviors, drinking expectancies, attitudes, and norms. Postbaseline assessment occurred during the fall semester sophomore year and included the number and type of alcohol consequences experienced during the previous year. Students' SIs were coded as accurate, overestimated, or underestimated relative to their empirically derived latent class analytic drinker class. The association between drinker type accuracy and consequences and membership in the high-risk Multiple and Repeated Consequence group was assessed, as was the relationship between the psychosocial alcohol variables and accuracy.
Eighteen percent of students underestimated and 10% overestimated their drinker type. Students who under- or overestimated their drinker type reported experiencing more consequences, even after controlling for drinking. Increases in positive alcohol expectancies, protective and risky drinking behaviors, and descriptive peer norms were positively associated with underestimation of drinker type. Only protective and risky drinking behaviors were associated with overestimation.
This study underscores the importance of accurate estimation of drinker type and the risk of experiencing alcohol consequences. Future research and intervention strategies are discussed.