Research & Resources

Blackouts and Hangover Experiences Among Hispanic and Non-Hispanic White College Students

This study explored the potential relationships of shame and resilience with 381 Hispanic and 332 non-Hispanic White (NHW) students’ self-reported blackouts and hangover experiences. Students completed an online survey measuring shame, resilience, presence of lifetime blackout experiences preceding a hangover, and past-year hangover severity. Analyses included separate path models examining shame and resilience and the interaction between shame and resilience with Hispanic ethnicity in relation to blackouts and hangover experiences. Significant pathways emerged between resilience, but not shame, and blackouts and hangover experiences. A subscale of resilience reflecting personal competence and tenacity was related to greater likelihood of reporting blackouts and greater hangover severity for Hispanics, but not NHW students. Conversely, a dimension of resilience characterized by trusting one’s instincts and tolerance of negative emotions/poor self-concept was related to a lower likelihood of reporting a blackout preceding a hangover for Hispanics, but not NHW students. Finally, a resilience subscale associated with spiritual influences was positively related to blackouts in the participant population as a whole. These results reinforce the notion that resilience is an important target for intervention and prevention of hazardous drinking, but reveal that it may have both positive and negative effects in college students, which may differ by ethnicity.

This paper, “Blackouts and hangover experiences among Hispanic and Non-Hispanic White college students,” was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and published in the journal Addictive Behaviors Reports.

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