Pre-drinking motives are directly associated with alcohol-related consequences even after adjusting for alcohol use on a given night: A consequence-specific analysis
Pre-drinking motives (PDM) are linked with different characteristics of pre-alcohol drinking occasions (e.g., fast-paced alcohol use, socializing, moving across locations) that are potentially related to adverse night-level consequences.
This study examines the direct associations of three PDM dimensions (fun/intoxication, facilitation, and conviviality) with the occurrence of five consequences (hangover, impaired driving, blackout, risky sex, fight/injury) over and above amounts of alcohol consumed that night.
A sample of 138 young adult nightlife goers (55.1 % men, Mage = 19.0 SD = 2.4) in Switzerland reported PDM at baseline, and subsequently reported night-level alcohol use and consequences the next morning on 12.1 weekend nights on average (N = 1,663 participant-nights). Correlational analyses and multilevel logistic regression models assessed associations between PDM and night-level consequences.
After adjusting for amounts consumed, age, sex and monthly pre-alcohol drinking frequency, conviviality PDM were associated with higher odds of risky sex (OR = 2.68) and lower odds of blackout (OR = 0.57) while fun/intoxication PDM were associated with lower odds of risky sex (OR = 0.35).
Interaction analyses per gender showed that fun/intoxication PDM were associated with lower odds of impaired driving among women (OR = 0.25).
Results remained the same when adjusting for general alcohol use motives, which were not associated with night-level consequences.
PDM might better capture risk factors for experiencing night-level consequences than general alcohol use motives.
Preventive intervention should make young people aware that pre-alcohol drinking is not only associated with higher amounts of alcohol consumed, but also with increased risks of specific night-level consequences, including blackouts and risky sexual behaviors, depending on the level of endorsement of each PDM.
Participants were recruited in nightlife areas of Lausanne and Zurich, Switzerland, on Friday and Saturday nights. Recruiters approached individuals or small groups following a systematic criterion (for example, every second person crossing any predetermined line, e.g., across the street) and introduced the aim and design of the study (Labhart et al., 2017).
Eligibility criteria were among others: being between 16 and 25 years old, having consumed alcohol at least once in the past month, having been out in the nightlife.
On average, both male and female participants pre-drank alcohol once per week (4.4 times per month).
- Fun/intoxication PDM were the most highly endorsed, in general and for both genders, followed by
- Conviviality, while
- Facilitation PDM were the least endorsed.
At the night level, men consumed 4.5 alcoholic drinks on average per night and women consumed 3.1.
The most frequently reported consequence was experiencing a hangover (21.1 % of all nights).
The current study aimed to investigate the consequence-specific association of pre-alcohol drinking motives (PDM) with night-level consequences in a sample of young adults (16–25 years old) from Switzerland. The results showed, for instance, that those who pre-drink alcohol with conviviality PDM are at a higher risk of experiencing risky sex but lower risk of blackouts, over and above amounts of alcohol consumed, and that a few gender-specific associations also exist.