Research & Resources

Day Drinking Among College Students and Associated Risky Substance Use Behaviors

Researchers conducted a longitudinal daily diary study to assess how many and how often college students’ day drink and whether day drinking days (i.e., days when drinking began before 4 p.m.) were associated with heavy drinking, legal intoxication, negative alcohol-related consequences, and at least three risky substance use behaviors. Approximately 50 percent of drinkers drank during the day at least once and reported day drinking occurred on 9 percent of drinking days. Greek organization participants reported significantly more day drinking days than non-participants. Day drinking days were characterized by heavy drinking as evidenced by strong, positive associations between day drinking and drinking to heavy episodic drinking (HED) and high-intensity drinking (HID) thresholds on a given day. By contrast, students were less likely to reach legal intoxication and experienced fewer negative alcohol-related consequences on day drinking days than days on which drinking began in the evening or nighttime. Students who reported day drinking more often throughout the study also reported having more days of drinking at the HED and HID thresholds and playing drinking games and mixed alcohol with energy drinks more frequently. This paper, “Day drinking among college students and its association with risky substance use behaviors,” was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.
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