Deakin University

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Ecological momentary assessment of drinking in young adults: an investigation into social context, affect and motives

journal contribution
posted on 2019-11-01, 00:00 authored by Renee O'Donnell, B Richardson, Matthew Fuller-TyszkiewiczMatthew Fuller-Tyszkiewicz, Paul Liknaitzky, L Arulkadacham, R Dvorak, Petra StaigerPetra Staiger
Introduction: Daily assessment studies have examined how day specific factors, such as affect, social context, and drinking motives, alongside dispositional drinking motives, predict young adults' drinking. However, these studies did not examine how the interplay between drinking motives (dispositional and day specific) and multiple features of the drinking situation predict drinking with respect to either the initial decision to drink or the quantity of alcohol consumed. Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) via smartphone technology, enables us to address this gap by evaluating to what extent dispositional drinking motives and day specific factors are associated with: a) the initiation of drinking episodes and; b) the quantity of alcohol consumed. Methods: Participants were 83 young adults (63 female) aged 18 to 30 (M = 21.42, SD = 3.09) who resided in Australia and participated in an EMA study for 21 days via their smartphone. On a daily basis, participants received three random-interval prompts that measured momentary affect, drinking motives, social context (e.g., people present in the social context and if these individuals are drinking), and alcohol use. Results: A multilevel hurdle analysis found that young adults were more likely to both initiate a drinking episode and consume a higher quantity of alcohol if they were surrounded by other people who were drinking and were motivated to drink to conform to the reference group. Conclusions: This study is the first of its kind to demonstrate that different drinking behaviors (i.e., initiation and quantity of alcohol consumed) are associated with a similar set of predictors. Drinking-based interventions that address these risk factors could effectively reduce risky drinking as it would intervene on both the decision to initiate alcohol use, and the decision to continue drinking.



Addictive behaviors



Article number



1 - 8




Amsterdam, The Netherlands







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

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2019, Elsevier Ltd.