Research & Resources

Consequences of Young Adult Solitary Alcohol Use

Research on young adults has found that solitary alcohol use (i.e., drinking alone) is associated with negative emotions, coping motives for drinking, and negative alcohol-related consequences, but most research to date has been cross-sectional and based on samples of college students. In this study, researchers looked at associations across multiple points in time within a diverse sample of 754 young adults ages 18–26. Moderate depressive symptoms at baseline were associated with a greater likelihood of solitary monthly drinking in the subsequent two years. During those two years, both depressive symptoms and coping motives were concurrently associated with solitary drinking at the between- and within-person level. The findings point to the importance of considering the drinking context when screening and providing treatment for alcohol misuse. 
This paper, “Antecedents, concurrent correlates, and potential consequences of young adult solitary alcohol use,” was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and published in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.
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