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Identifying risk and protective factors to prevent alcohol use during tailgating

Tailgating before college football games can be a common site of alcohol use. Understanding what contributes to alcohol use at these events may highlight opportunities for prevention. The context and individual alcohol-related expectations may encourage risky behaviors and discourage students from using strategies to limit consumption or reduce harms. In this study, researchers surveyed students before and after tailgating. They found that positive expectations around alcohol use were associated with the use of harm-reduction strategies, such as using designated drivers. Conversely, students with positive expectations around alcohol use were also associated with more drinking.

This study, “Tailgating protective behavioral strategies mediate the effects of positive alcohol outcome expectancies on game day drinking,” was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. It was published in the Journal of Primary Prevention.

Research & Resources