Drink monitoring for self and others: precollege drinkers and the Bad-Habit-Formation Hypothesis

Jakob D. Jensen, Kevin K. John, Jason Freeman, Nick Carcioppolo, Manusheela Pokharel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalAddiction Research and Theory
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jun 12 2018

Keywords

  • bad-habit-formation hypothesis
  • drink monitoring
  • high school drinking
  • learning-from-experience hypothesis
  • Precollege drinking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

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