What Reminds Young People That They Drank More Than Intended on Weekend Nights: An Event-Level Study Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE:Young people often drink more alcohol than intended over the course of a night. This study investigates individual and night-specific factors predicting young people's acknowledgment of having drunk more than intended. METHOD:Using the Youth@Night smartphone application, 176 people aged 16-25 documented 757 Friday and Saturday nights. Participants recorded their drinking intentions at the beginning of the night, the composition of the social and physical environment over the course of the night, and, the next morning, the previous night's total consumption and whether they had drunk more than intended or experienced other alcohol-related consequences. Bivariate statistics and multilevel logistic regressions were used based on the 361 nights during which 139 participants (53.2% men, mean age = 19.3) exceeded their drinking intentions. RESULTS:Participants acknowledged higher consumption than intended on 36.7% of nights. At the night level, higher drinking intentions than usual (odds ratio [OR] = 1.36, 95% CI [1.13, 1.65]), attending a larger number of locations than usual (OR = 1.84, 95% CI [1.11, 3.04]), having a hangover the next morning (OR = 3.23, 95% CI [1.50, 6.95]), or spending more money than planned (OR = 3.12, 95% CI [1.56, 6.26]) were associated with acknowledgment of drinking more than intended. No individual characteristics were associated with acknowledgment of exceeding drinking intentions. CONCLUSIONS:Young people not only tend to drink more than intended on weekend nights but also often fail to acknowledge this the next morning. Event based prevention measures aimed at narrowing the gap between drinking intentions and quantities of alcohol consumed are recommended.

publication date

  • 2018