The amount of alcohol an individual consumes on a given day, and the consequences of that drinking, vary according to their motives for drinking. The findings are from a study among young adults reported in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. ‘High-intensity’ drinking, defined as 8+ drinks for women or 10+ drinks for men (i.e. twice the binge-drinking threshold), is a particularly risky level of drinking that is common among young adults. Because individuals may engage in high-intensity drinking on some days but not others, identifying risk factors for high-intensity drinking on a given day is critical for developing real-time interventions to reduce harm. Drinking motives – a person’s reasons for using alcohol – are known to be linked to alcohol use at a particular time, and also vary across drinking days. Certain motives, for example those related to enjoying the feeling of intoxication or enhancing the fun of a gathering, have been previously linked to higher alcohol con
How young adults perceive their own drinking habits may distort their self-reported alcohol use, according to a new study in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. The study scrutinizes the accuracy of participants’ self-reported drinking — a frequent component of alcohol research. Self-reports are prone to inaccuracies, especially in recalling past use. To improve accuracy, researchers often incorporate both “real time” self-reports and retrospective assessments. When these two reports diverge, however, the implications for research are not well understood. For this study, investigators assessed how these two types of self-report differ and what factors may predict inaccurate self-reporting. Unraveling these influences has the potential to improve the accuracy of some alcohol research — and, ultimately, better support people experiencing hazardous drinking.