Pre-drinking and alcohol-related harm in undergraduates: the influence of explicit motives and implicit alcohol identity

Kim M. Caudwell, Martin S. Hagger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


The present study investigated how pre-drinking could be explained using a model based on dual-systems theory, incorporating measures of explicit and implicit constructs. Undergraduate students (N = 144; 44 male; 100 female; Mage = 20.1 years), completed an online survey comprising measures of pre-drinking motives, a measure of pre-drinking cost motives, and an alcohol identity implicit association test. Variance-based structural equation modelling revealed that the predictors explained 34.8 % of the variance in typical pre-drinking alcohol consumption and 25 % of the variance in alcohol-related harm. Cost, interpersonal enhancement, and barriers to consumption motives predicted higher typical pre-drinking alcohol consumption and greater alcohol-related harm. Higher situational control scores predicted lower typical pre-drinking alcohol consumption, and lower alcohol-related harm. Positive implicit alcohol identity predicted alcohol-related harm, but not typical alcohol consumption. Results indicate that a dual-systems approach to pre-drinking has utility in predicting alcohol-related harm and may inform interventions to reduce excessive alcohol consumption and associated harm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1252-1262
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Participants estimated how much alcohol they would consume during a typical pre-drinking session, in Australian standard drink equivalents, with the aid of a pictorial guide adapted from National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC, 2009) guidelines. In order to illustrate the pre-purchased element in pre-drinking sessions, larger containers of alcohol (e.g., 700 mL bottles, 24-can cartons) were included in the guide as well as measures used on licensed premises (e.g., a 335 ml beer bottle). We also measured participant alcohol consumption frequency using an item from the AUDIT-C (Bush et al., 1998).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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