ISR Awards

Event-level Analysis of Expectancies, Alcohol Use and Consequences

Alcohol use, misuse and resulting negative consequences among college students have been extensively documented. Despite substantial efforts and recent advances in understanding and preventing excessive consumption and related harm, considerable gaps in the literature regarding etiology and maintenance of high-risk college drinking remain. Prior research has documented that negative alcohol-related events can promote changes to drinking behavior, motivations for change, and cognitions related to drinking. The proposed study will help to understand how self-change might occur among young adult college students as a result of experienced negative consequences. In this proposal, we use an event-level perspective to examine the interrelationships of expectancies, drinking, and consequences. Using Interactive Voice Response (IVR), 400 college students will report on their expectancies, drinking, and alcohol-related consequences three times daily for four two-week intervals over one year. By using daily reports over time, we can ensure temporal relationships between expectancies, drinking, and consequences; minimize recall bias; investigate reciprocal relationships of expectancies, drinking and consequences; and examine both within- and between-person influences on drinking and consequences. Using multilevel modeling, we will (1) examine the daily relationships between alcohol expectancies and alcohol use; (2) study bidirectional influences of expectancies, consequences, and drinking over time; (3) examine whether the immediate consequences of drinking change subsequent expectancies and drinking over time; and (4) examine the time-varying and time-invarying moderators of the within-person relationships between expectancies, drinking, and consequences. The factors related to self-change are important for understanding the maintenance and fluctuations of high-risk drinking and may ultimately help inform interventions targeted to drinkers who are at risk for consequences but are not seeking intervention or treatment.