Three Studies on Drinking Game Behavior among College Students
Type of Degreedissertation
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The majority of college students consume alcohol. Some college students consume heavily and these abusive patterns of alcohol use can be associated with substantial negative consequences. Drinking game participation has increased in popularity among college students and is associated with high levels of alcohol consumption and an increased likelihood of incurring alcohol-related problems. A review of the literature provided suggestions for future research that could aid in understanding how drinking game participation contributes to high-risk or problematic alcohol consumption and served to inform the three studies conducted to examine drinking game behavior among college students. Study one was conducted in order to obtain self-report data on the prevalence of drinking game participation among undergraduate students attending National Alcohol Screening Day. A large percentage of the sample for Study 1 reported lifetime and recent drinking game participation. Males were more likely to report recent participation and reported higher levels of consumption while playing drinking games. Drinking game participants were more likely to experience a range of alcohol-related problems, and the relationship between drinking game participation and alcohol-related problems was mediated by weekly alcohol consumption. Study two was conducted in order to develop and implement a laboratory-based Simulated Drinking Game Procedure to study risky alcohol consumption levels while participating in drinking games. Results of Study 2 indicated that participation in beer pong can lead to rapid consumption of alcohol and an associated rise in Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC), with particularly high risk associated with singles matches during which participants achieved average BAC’s well over the legal limit after just 20 minutes of play. Results also highlighted additional risks for female participants associated with participation in drinking games. Study three was conducted in order to extend the Simulated Drinking Game Procedure to examine alcohol consumption across different types of drinking games. Results indicated that consumption levels and estimated BAC vary by game type and that females obtained consistently higher BACs than males in each game type played. Evaluation of the results of these three studies may serve to inform future research in this area.