Background: Past research has demonstrated that precollege alcohol consumption is related to college alcohol consumption. But whether precollege drinking is also related to drinking-related behaviors, such as drink monitoring, is unknown. Some have argued that precollege drinking, as a form of experience, should be related to the performance of positive drinking-related behaviors (learning-from-experience hypothesis) whereas others have argued that, given the environment of precollege drinkers, it should be related to negative drinking-related behaviors (bad-habit-formation hypothesis). Methods: A cross-sectional survey of college students (n = 284) at a large Midwestern university in the U.S. Participants completed measures of precollege drinking, college drinking, fraternity membership, and responsible drinking behaviors. Results: Precollege drinkers were more likely to engage in college drinking; the former explained 12% of the variance in the College Drinking Scale, above and beyond other predictors. Precollege drinkers were less likely to monitor their own alcohol consumption or the consumption of their friends. Conclusions: Precollege drinkers were less likely to monitor their own drinking and the drinking of friends, consistent with the bad-habit-formation hypothesis; that is, the notion that early drinking experiences cultivate the formation of irresponsible drinking behaviors.
- bad-habit-formation hypothesis
- drink monitoring
- high school drinking
- learning-from-experience hypothesis
- Precollege drinking
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)