Short-term changes in plans to drink and importance of positive and negative alcohol consequences

Experienced consequences predicted short-term changes in alcohol use plans and perceptions of the importance of alcohol-related consequences. Participants were 176 traditionally aged first-year university students who completed a 10-week telephone diary study (total weeks=1735). In multi-level models, men and students who experienced more positive and negative consequences on average planned to drink more and rated avoiding negative consequences as less important. Students who experienced more positive consequences rated them as more important (between-person analyses). Following weeks of experiencing relatively more positive drinking consequences, students planned to drink more and rated experiencing positive consequences as more important for the subsequent week (within-person analyses). Challenges for intervening in the ongoing formation of anticipatory cognitions regarding alcohol use are discussed. [Copyright 2008 Association for Professionals in Services for Adolescents. Published by Elsevier Ltd.]