Day-to-day variations in high-intensity drinking, expectancies, and positive and negative alcohol-related consequences

Abstract High-intensity drinking (i.e., women/men consuming 8+/10+ drinks in a day) is prevalent and associated with negative consequences. Occasions of high-intensity drinking have markedly high risk; however, previous research has not examined the predictors of these high-risk drinking days. The current study was designed to examine to what extent positive and negative alcohol expectancies predict high-intensity drinking and whether high-intensity drinking on a given day was associated with drinking consequences and their evaluations that day. Frequently drinking college students (N = 342) participated in an intensive longitudinal study of drinking behaviors (N = 4645 drinking days). Days with greater positive and negative expectancies were associated with high-intensity drinking. Days with high-intensity drinking were associated with reporting more positive and negative consequences and with evaluating positive consequences more favorably and evaluating negative consequences less favorably, compared to drinking days without high-intensity drinking. Given this, prevention and intervention efforts may consider specifically targeting high-intensity drinking events as a unique phenomenon.