Publications

Age-Related Changes in Associations Between Reasons for Alcohol Use and High-Intensity Drinking Across Young Adulthood

Objective:Analyses focus on whether self-reported reasons for drinking alcohol change in their associations with high-intensity drinking across the transition to adulthood.Method:Self-report data on high-intensity drinking (10+ drinks) collected from the national Monitoring the Future study in 2005 to 2014 from those ages 18?26 were used (N = 2,664 60% women] for all drinkers and 1,377 for heavy episodic 5+] drinkers; up to 6,541 person-waves). Time-varying effect modeling examined changes in the direction and magnitude of associations between eight reasons for drinking and high-intensity alcohol use across continuous age.Results:Four reasons to drink showed quite stable associations with high-intensity drinking across age: drinking to get away from problems, to get high, to relax, and to sleep. Associations between two reasons and high-intensity drinking decreased with age: anger/frustration and to have a good time. The association between drinking because of boredom and high-intensity drinking increased with age. Drinking because it tastes good had a weak association with high-intensity drinking. Among heavy episodic drinkers, reasons for use also differentiated high-intensity drinking, with two exceptions: drinking to have a good time and to relax did not distinguish drinking 10+ drinks from drinking 5?9 drinks.Conclusions:Reasons for drinking are differentially associated with high-intensity drinking, compared with any other drinking and compared with lower intensity heavy drinking, across age during the transition to adulthood. Intervention programs seeking to mitigate alcohol-related harms should focus on reasons for use when they are the most developmentally salient.; Objective:Analyses focus on whether self-reported reasons for drinking alcohol change in their associations with high-intensity drinking across the transition to adulthood.Method:Self-report data on high-intensity drinking (10+ drinks) collected from the national Monitoring the Future study in 2005 to 2014 from those ages 18?26 were used (N = 2,664 60% women] for all drinkers and 1,377 for heavy episodic 5+] drinkers; up to 6,541 person-waves). Time-varying effect modeling examined changes in the direction and magnitude of associations between eight reasons for drinking and high-intensity alcohol use across continuous age.Results:Four reasons to drink showed quite stable associations with high-intensity drinking across age: drinking to get away from problems, to get high, to relax, and to sleep. Associations between two reasons and high-intensity drinking decreased with age: anger/frustration and to have a good time. The association between drinking because of boredom and high-intensity drinking increased with age. Drinking because it tastes good had a weak association with high-intensity drinking. Among heavy episodic drinkers, reasons for use also differentiated high-intensity drinking, with two exceptions: drinking to have a good time and to relax did not distinguish drinking 10+ drinks from drinking 5?9 drinks.Conclusions:Reasons for drinking are differentially associated with high-intensity drinking, compared with any other drinking and compared with lower intensity heavy drinking, across age during the transition to adulthood. Intervention programs seeking to mitigate alcohol-related harms should focus on reasons for use when they are the most developmentally salient.