Research & Resources

Trauma and Alcohol Characteristics Related to High Intensity Binge Drinking During College

This study compared three groups of 221 college student drinkers who had been exposed to interpersonal trauma, analyzing their drinking and interpersonal trauma characteristics. The groups included high-intensity (HI) binge drinkers, standard binge drinkers, and non-binge drinkers. Results indicated that the HI binge drinking group endorsed significantly greater negative alcohol-related consequences relative to the other two groups. The HI binge drinking group endorsed significantly greater enhancement motives than the non-binge drinking group. No group differences were detected for interpersonal trauma characteristics. Individuals who engage in HI binge drinking may experience greater alcohol problems due to their use of alcohol to enhance positive mood. HI binge drinking does not appear to differentiate individuals on the basis of interpersonal trauma experiences or related psychopathology.

This paper, “Trauma and alcohol characteristics related to high intensity binge drinking during college,” was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and published in the Journal of American college health.

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