Do preparatory behaviours predict alcohol consumption among UK university students?

Cooke, Richard ORCID: 0000-0003-0476-6284, Bailey, Olivia, Jennings, Janine, Yuen, Chun and Gardner, Benjamin
(2020) Do preparatory behaviours predict alcohol consumption among UK university students? British Journal of Health Psychology.

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OBJECTIVE:This study explored whether the frequency and habitual nature of engagement in three behaviours that may serve as preparation for alcohol consumption on a night out with friends - that is, contacting friends to arrange a night out, buying alcohol, drinking alone at home before going out - predicted consumption on such nights. DESIGN:Prospective correlational design. METHODS:One hundred and twenty UK university students (68 female, 50 male, two non-binary, mean age = 20.78 years, SD = 1.52) completed a survey comprising intentions, habits, and frequency and habit for the three preparatory behaviours. One week later, a second survey measured the number of nights out with friends on which alcohol was drunk (i.e., drinking frequency) and the number on which four or more alcoholic drinks were consumed (i.e, excessive drinking). Regression models were run to predict drinking frequency and excessive drinking. RESULTS:Drinking frequency was predicted only by frequency of contacting friends (B = .28, SE = .12, p = .02), and habitually drinking alone before going out (B = .20, SE = .09, p = .03). Excessive drinking was only predicted by alcohol consumption habit (B = .67, SE = .23, p = .003). CONCLUSIONS:Preceding actions may influence the frequency of alcohol consumption on nights out, independently of intentions and habits relating to alcohol consumption. While interventions to reduce consumption quantity in a single session might focus on disrupting the habits that sustain drinking episodes, efforts to reduce alcohol consumption frequency on nights out might focus on disrupting behaviours that precede alcohol consumption.

Item Type: Article
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2020 10:39
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 08:20
DOI: 10.1111/bjhp.12489