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Daily associations of alcohol use with sexual behaviour and condom use during Spring Break


Megan E. Patrick PhD, Research Assistant Professor. Correspondence to Dr Megan E. Patrick, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, 426 Thompson Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1248, USA. Tel: 734 763 7107; Fax: 734 936 0043; E-mail:


Introduction and Aims

Spring Break is associated with high levels of alcohol use and related consequences, and with risky sexual behaviour, among North American college students. However, the extent to which Spring Break drinking and sexual behaviours are related has not been well documented.

Design and Methods

Undergraduate students (n= 263) were surveyed prior to and immediately after Spring Break, including retrospective reports of daily behaviour for each day of Spring Break.


Hierarchical linear modelling was used to predict penetrative sex and condom use. Binge drinking on a day was associated with a greater likelihood of penetrative sex and of condom use, moderated by relationship status. Binge drinking led to a greater increase in penetrative sex among single students. Single students were more likely to use condoms after drinking; those in a relationship were less likely to use condoms after drinking.

Discussion and Conclusions

Single college students are more likely to have sex after binge drinking on Spring Break, but also more likely to use condoms after drinking, compared to students in a relationship. Intervention efforts may need to acknowledge relationship status.