Predictors of quickly progressing from initiating alcohol use to engaging in binge drinking among adolescents
Background: A short delay to first intoxication confers alcohol-related risk, but risk factors for a short delay have yet to be examined.
Methods: 230 high school students (55.7% male; age 16.52 [1.19] years; 70.9% White) were surveyed about alcohol use. We examined whether sex, race, parental history of alcohol problems, age of onset, type of alcohol consumed, drinking company, and subjective response to alcohol were associated with 1) delay to first binge episode and 2) binge drinking status (i.e., never bingers, individuals who binge drank on their first drinking occasion, and individuals who binge drank at a later date). Finally, we examined whether first-occasion bingers reported heavier drinking and alcohol-related problems than later-occasion and never bingers.
Results: Overall, a shorter delay was associated with being male an older age of onset, and, during one's first drinking experience, consuming liquor, drinking with friends or alone, and experiencing high arousal negative alcohol effects. First-occasion bingers were more likely to be male, consume liquor, and experience stronger high arousal positive and negative alcohol effects than never bingers and to have a later age of onset, experience stronger high arousal negative, and weaker low arousal negative alcohol effects than later-occasion bingers. First-occasion bingers also reported heavier current drinking and more alcohol-related problems.
Conclusions: Characteristics of underage drinkers that confer risk for a shorter delay and first-occasion binging may provide fruitful targets for intervention, as efforts to delay binge drinking may mitigate alcohol-related risk associated with underage alcohol use.
Morean, Meghan E., Julia Peterson, and Alexa L'Insalata. 2019. "Predictors of quickly progressing from initiating alcohol use to engaging in binge drinking among adolescents." Addictive Behaviors Reports 9: 100165.
Addictive Behaviors Report
Age of onset, Intoxication, Binge drinking, Delay to intoxicaiton, Adolescent, Adolescence