Category: Addictive Behaviors

PS7- #B62 - What Predicts Negative Drinking Consequences in Students Who Do and Do Not Binge Drink: Substance Use Coping

Friday, Nov 17
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Location: Indigo Ballroom CDGH, Level 2, Indigo Level

Keywords: Addictive Behaviors | Behavioral Medicine | College Students

Effective interventions to reduce risky alcohol use on college campuses are needed, with particular concern for acute negative consequences of heavy alcohol use, such as poor academic performance or sexual victimization. Executive functioning (EF) skills have been implicated in the maintenance of multiple addictive behaviors. In one previous trial, computerized EF training reduced heavy drinking among college students in the short term. However, more research is needed to establish EF as an important mechanism maintaining risky drinking, and to analyze whether EF differentially predicts negative consequences in higher and lower risk drinkers. The current study examined whether EF and substance use coping were associated with reported negative drinking consequences over the past week in college students (n=201, 56% male, Mage=19.12, 53% White) and in a subsample of higher-risk students (n=119) reporting at least 1 binge episode in the past week. We predicted that higher EF would be associated with fewer consequences, while binging and poor substance use coping would be associated with more consequences. An interaction effect was also predicted, where the impact of poor substance use coping would be reduced for students higher in EF. EF, using substances to cope with stress, drinking behavior, and drinking consequences were assessed using self-report measures. Students who binged did not differ from non-bingers in age, were more likely to be White (χ2=6.01, p=.014), and marginally more likely to be male (χ2=2.84, p=.09). Because half the sample (51.2%) reported no negative consequences, the variable was initially coded dichotomously (none; one or more) and logistic regression was used to analyze factors that predicted having at least one consequence. The overall model was significant, χ2(5) = 66.84, p < .001, explaining 37.7% (Nagelkerke R2) of the variance. EF (b=.018, p=.017), coping (b=.126, p=.02) and being a binge drinker (b=-1.16, p=.019) were associated with increased likelihood of reporting a negative consequence. The interaction between EF and coping was not significant. Consequences were more evenly distributed among binge drinkers, so a multiple regression was used to analyze factors predicting consequences among these higher-risk drinkers. The overall model was significant (R2=.215, F(2,110)= 15.046, p  < .001), with both EF ( b=.012, p=.001), and coping (b=.063, p=.004) contributing to the variance. The EF by coping interaction term was not significant. While limited in its use of self-report consequences, this study contributes to literature suggesting that EF dysfunction is related to drinking consequences across both higher (binging, high substance use coping) and lower (non-binging, low substance use coping) risk college students.  

Atara Siegel

Graduate Student
University at Albany
Albany, New York

Elisabeth O'Rourke

Graduate Student
University at Albany, State University of New York
Albany

Joseph Bettcher

Graduate Student
University at Albany, State University of New York
Albany, New York

Leslie F. Halpern

Associate Professor
University at Albany, State University of New York
Albany, New York