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1.
J Stud Alcohol Drugs ; 83(4): 480-485, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1940326

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Studies report mixed findings on the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on college student alcohol consumption. However, the impact of pandemic restrictions on students referred to an intervention following a campus alcohol violation has not yet been studied. The current study examined alcohol use behaviors and perceived drinking norms among mandated student cohorts enrolled in the pre-COVID-19 era (fall 2019) and COVID-19 era (fall 2020). METHOD: Participants (N = 228) completed measures focused on alcohol use and associated behaviors. Analytic models controlled for participant age and entailed negative binomial regressions for count outcomes and analyses of covariance for normally distributed continuous outcomes. RESULTS: COVID-era cohort students reported fewer drinks, pregaming occasions (i.e., drinking before a social occasion such as a sports event), and drinks while pregaming. Frequency of heavy episodic drinking (HED) remained consistent between groups; however, the peak number of drinks during HED was significantly lower in the COVID-era group, as were Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test scores and alcohol-related consequences. Perceived peer norms for frequency and quantity were significantly higher in the COVID-era group. Regression confirmed a significant impact of norms on both frequency and quantity of alcohol use in both cohorts. CONCLUSIONS: Mandated college students during the COVID-19 pandemic consumed less alcohol, engaged in less pregaming, consumed fewer drinks while pregaming, and reported fewer negative alcohol consequences than a cohort from the previous year. In this campus case study of residential students who violate campus alcohol policy, COVID restrictions were associated with reduced overall quantity and risky practices.


Subject(s)
Alcohol Drinking in College , Alcoholism , COVID-19 , Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Ethanol , Humans , Pandemics , Students , Universities
2.
Addict Behav ; 129: 107281, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1682840

ABSTRACT

During the COVID-19 pandemic, college students have experienced heightened stressors and reported stress-related drinking. To identify potential protective factors among college students, we investigate the possibility that finding meaning and purpose in one's life may lessen the strength of the association between stress and alcohol consumption in a multicohort sample of college students (N = 694; 64.8% women) recruited between November 2019 and September 2021. Consistent with expectations, negative binomial regressions revealed significant interactions, such that higher stress was only associated with more past-month alcohol use among individuals who reported low levels of meaning in life. The buffering role of meaning in life appeared to be robust; interaction results held when investigating both general perceived stress and COVID-specific stress, and did not vary by cohort. Although longitudinal and experimental research are needed, findings indicate that finding meaning and purpose in one's life may help college students to navigate heightened periods of stress with more adaptive coping strategies that do not result in drinking to cope. Findings highlight the potential utility of meaning-promoting strategies in college alcohol interventions.


Subject(s)
Alcohol Drinking in College , COVID-19 , Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Students , Universities
3.
Subst Use Misuse ; 57(1): 86-95, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1488089

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 and measures to contain it may have impacted college students' behavior, including their drinking behavior. Students' drinking may have decreased-for example, due to the closure of bars-but problematic drinking may have increased-for example, due to (solitary) drinking at home. Another behavior that has increased due to COVID-19 and the accompanying social isolation is students' social networking site (SNS) use. This is worrisome because students' SNS use has been shown to increase their alcohol use. Nevertheless, little research has investigated these behaviors and the possible link between them during a lockdown. Therefore, this study aimed to examine (1) whether students engaged in drinking during a lockdown, (2) whether they displayed their drinking behavior on SNSs, and (3) whether exposure to and posting of alcohol-related content was linked to their daily alcohol use. METHODS: 337 college students (Mage = 20.63 years, SDage = 1.55 years; 50.3% male) participated in a two-week daily diary study. Descriptive statistical analyses and generalized linear mixed modeling (GLMM) were deployed. RESULTS: Descriptive analysis results showed that during the week, students' drinking occurred with friends in dormitories, while in the weekend, this behavior shifted to drinking with friends and parents at home. Moreover, students mostly saw visual and posted textual posts of this drinking on SNSs. Furthermore, GLMM revealed associations between exposure to alcohol postings, sharing of alcohol postings, and students' probability of drinking on the same day. CONCLUSION: This study provides important insights into students' alcohol use and its underlying mechanisms during health crises.


Subject(s)
Alcohol Drinking in College , COVID-19 , Social Media , Adult , Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Students , Universities , Young Adult
4.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(18)2021 09 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1430861

ABSTRACT

To "flatten the curve" of COVID-19 contagion, several countries ordered lockdowns amid the pandemic along with indications on social distancing. These social isolation measures could potentially bring alterations to healthy behavior, including to alcohol consumption. However, there is hardly any scientific evidence of the impact of such measures on alcohol consumption and binge drinking (BD) among young adults, and how they relate to alcohol craving, stress, anxiety, and depression levels. We addressed these questions by conducting a longitudinal study with 146 Portuguese college students-regular binge drinkers (regular BDs), infrequent binge drinkers (infrequent BDs) and non-binge drinkers (non-BDs)-in three moments: before the pandemic (Pre-Lockdown), during lockdown (Lockdown) and 6 months after (Post-Lockdown). Results revealed that regular BDs decreased alcohol use during Lockdown, a change in behavior that was even greater during Post-Lockdown, when regular BDs displayed similar levels of consumption to infrequent/non-BDs. Additionally, alcohol craving and living with friends were predictive of alcohol use during Lockdown, whereas stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms did not contribute to explain changes in drinking behavior. Collectively, the results suggest that BD in young Portuguese college students can be stopped when the contexts in which alcohol intake usually takes place are suppressed, which may have important implications for future prevention and intervention strategies.


Subject(s)
Alcohol Drinking in College , Binge Drinking , COVID-19 , Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology , Binge Drinking/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Students , Young Adult
5.
Transl Behav Med ; 11(7): 1348-1353, 2021 07 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1243510

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic is a public health crisis. College student alcohol use is highly prevalent and primarily occurs in social settings where risk for COVID-19 transmission is heightened. This study explored the associations between alcohol use frequency, quantity, motives, and context with: (i) quarantine due to COVID-19 exposure and (ii) a positive diagnosis for COVID-19. A sample of n = 409 college student drinkers completed an online survey about their health and behaviors during the Fall 2020 semester. Since the start of the semester, 36% of students quarantined and 13% of students received a COVID-19 diagnosis. More frequent alcohol use was associated with increased odds of both quarantine and COVID-19 diagnosis. More frequent drinking for social motives was associated with increased likelihood of quarantine, and more frequent drinking for conformity motives was associated with increased likelihood of COVID-19 diagnosis. Participants who often drank alone or with a small group of friends were about half as likely to have quarantined, while those who often drank with a large group of friends were almost twice as likely to have quarantined. Participants who often drank in a bar or nightclub had almost three times the odds of a COVID-19 diagnosis. Frequent alcohol use and drinking for social and conformity motives and in certain contexts are linked to increased likelihood of COVID-19 exposure and diagnosis. Alcohol use prevention efforts, coupled with messaging to discourage large social gatherings in public places, might help to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 among college students.


Subject(s)
Alcohol Drinking in College , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Health Behavior , Humans , Motivation , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Students , Universities
6.
Alcohol Clin Exp Res ; 45(4): 752-764, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1199630

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In spring 2020, U.S. universities closed campuses to limit the transmission of COVID-19, resulting in an abrupt change in residence, reductions in social interaction, and in many cases, movement away from a heavy drinking culture. The present mixed-methods study explores COVID-19-related changes in college student drinking. We characterize concomitant changes in social and location drinking contexts and describe reasons attributed to changes in drinking. METHODS: We conducted two studies of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on drinking behavior, drinking context, and reasons for both increases and decreases in consumption among college students. Study 1 (qualitative) included 18 heavy-drinking college students (Mage  = 20.2; 56% female) who completed semi-structured interviews. Study 2 (quantitative) included 312 current and former college students who reported use of alcohol and cannabis (Mage  = 21.3; 62% female) and who completed an online survey. RESULTS: In both studies, COVID-19-related increases in drinking frequency were accompanied by decreases in quantity, heavy drinking, and drunkenness. Yet, in Study 2, although heavier drinkers reduced their drinking, among non-heavy drinkers several indices of consumption increased or remained stable . Both studies also provided evidence of reductions in social drinking with friends and roommates and at parties and increased drinking with family. Participants confirmed that their drinking decreased due to reduced social opportunities and/or settings, limited access to alcohol, and reasons related to health and self-discipline. Increases were attributed to greater opportunity (more time) and boredom and to a lesser extent, lower perceived risk of harm and to cope with distress. CONCLUSION: This study documents COVID-19-related changes in drinking among college student drinkers that were attributable to changes in context, particularly a shift away from heavy drinking with peers to lighter drinking with family. Given the continued threat of COVID-19, it is imperative for researchers, administrators, and parents to understand these trends as they may have lasting effects on college student drinking behaviors.


Subject(s)
Alcohol Drinking in College/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Students/psychology , Universities/trends , Adaptation, Psychological/physiology , Adolescent , Adult , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Self Report , Young Adult
7.
Alcohol Clin Exp Res ; 45(4): 854-863, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1199628

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There has been widespread concern that the COVID-19 pandemic may be a high-risk time for alcohol use among heavy drinking populations such as college students. Initial efforts to evaluate changes in college drinking have not yet accounted for typical drinking patterns within a semester. METHODS: To fill this gap, we evaluated how college student drinking patterns changed with the onset of restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic during spring 2020 relative to spring 2018 and 2019. Participants were 1,365 college students aged 19 and older, including 895 students who reported past-month alcohol use. Daily drinking data were extracted from an online Timeline Followback survey. RESULTS: Negative binomial hurdle models revealed that, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020, college student drinkers did not increase their drinking frequency as was typical in late spring semester, and the number of drinks per occasion declined substantially (28% reduction), greater than the change observed from early to late spring 2018 (3% reduction) or spring 2019 (8% increase). This reduction in drinking quantity in spring 2020 was larger for college student drinkers who moved residences because of the pandemic (49% reduction) than students who did not move (21% reduction). Perceptions in pandemic-related changes in drinking also revealed that 83.5% of college student drinkers self-reported that their drinking stayed the same or decreased. CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest that, on average, college students drank less-not more-during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and highlight the importance of living situation in college student drinking behavior. More research is needed to assess alcohol use in other universities, as this information could be utilized in norms-based interventions to further reduce drinking in students who remain at risk.


Subject(s)
Alcohol Drinking in College/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Seasons , Surveys and Questionnaires , Universities/trends , Adolescent , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Risk Factors , Young Adult
8.
Addict Behav ; 118: 106879, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1095789

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The COVID-19 pandemic is associated with reports of increased substance use. College students are a population of concern for high risk binge drinking and their behavior may be particularly impacted by COVID-19 campus closures. Therefore, we examine first-year college students' binge drinking soon after their university's pandemic-related suspension of in-person operations. METHODS: Students from a single campus (N = 741; age: M = 18.05, SD = 0.22) completed one assessment in April-May 2020 post-campus closure (March 2020) including theoretically-informed measures (e.g., drinking motives, norms) and two items of self-reported pre- and post-closure binge drinking frequency, the focus of these analyses. RESULTS: About half of students consistently reported not binge drinking pre- and post-closure; 6.75% reported a consistent frequency of binge drinking pre- and post-closure. Many (39.41%) reported lower 30-day binge drinking post-campus closure compared to their pre-closure reports; few (4.18%) reported higher 30-day binge drinking frequency post-campus closure. Students reporting lower binge drinking post-closure showed differences in coping, social, and enhancement drinking motives and isolation. Students reporting greater post-closure binge drinking reported higher perceived drinking norms and were more likely to be in Greek life. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates self-reported patterns in binge drinking among first-year college students at the point of COVID-19 campus closures. Pandemic-related college closures may have been a temporary environmental intervention on this high-risk behavior for some students. Although many students were not binge drinking, some continued binge drinking after closure and may benefit from preventive interventions.


Subject(s)
Alcohol Drinking in College , Binge Drinking , COVID-19 , Adolescent , Binge Drinking/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Peer Group , Students , Universities
9.
Transl Behav Med ; 11(3): 772-774, 2021 04 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1087812

ABSTRACT

Many young adults in the United States (U.S.) moved from college accommodations to live with their parents/family during the Spring 2020 semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While alcohol consumption fluctuates during a typical semester among students, the impact of the sudden changes stemming from the pandemic on students' alcohol consumption patterns is unclear. To examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on college student alcohol consumption while accounting for legal drinking age and living situation. Data were collected from students (n = 302) at a large, northeastern U.S. university at the beginning and end of the of the 2019 and 2020 Spring semesters via an online survey that assessed socio-demographic characteristics (age, gender, race/ethnicity, living situation) and alcohol consumption using the daily drinking questionnaire. Data were analyzed using a 2 (cohort group: COVID-19 vs. normal) × 2 (age group: above 21 vs. under 21) × 2 (time: beginning vs. end of the semester) mixed model ANOVA. There was a significant three-way interaction. Students over the legal drinking age impacted by the pandemic demonstrated a drastic decrease in alcohol consumption by the end of the semester compared to those under normal circumstances. Change in living situation as a result of the pandemic drastically impacted the alcohol consumption patterns of students over the legal drinking age. Suggestions for future research on the continuing effects of the pandemic on students are discussed.


Subject(s)
Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Students/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Alcohol Drinking/legislation & jurisprudence , Alcohol Drinking in College , Family , Female , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Residence Characteristics , United States/epidemiology , Universities , Young Adult
10.
Cogn Behav Ther ; 50(4): 261-275, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1057782

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has contributed to thousands of hospitalizations and deaths worldwide. Although alcohol use has increased in response to the pandemic, no known studies have identified transdiagnostic risk factors for greater drinking in response to COVID-related distress. Individuals with more difficulty with emotion regulation may drink more during the pandemic to manage pandemic-related distress. The current study tested whether difficulty with emotion regulation was related to greater estimated blood alcohol content (eBAC) during a typical week in the past month and if this was due to COVID-related distress and drinking to cope with the pandemic. The sample consisted of 347 past-month drinking undergraduates in Louisiana, a state with some of the U.S. highest rates of COVID-19 infections and related deaths. Difficulty with engaging in goal-directed behaviors was related to greater past-month eBAC and this relation was mediated by the sequential effects of COVID-related worry and drinking to cope with the pandemic. Results indicate that individuals with difficulty engaging in goal-directed behaviors are especially vulnerable to greater eBAC during the COVID-19 pandemic which may be due in part to their vulnerability to more COVID-related worry which may lead to more drinking to cope with the pandemic.


Subject(s)
Adaptation, Psychological/physiology , Alcohol Drinking in College/psychology , COVID-19/psychology , Emotional Regulation , Students/psychology , Adolescent , Alcoholism/psychology , Anxiety/psychology , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Psychological Distress , Young Adult
11.
Psychiatry Res ; 296: 113706, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1009809

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic caused significant disruption during the spring of 2020. Many college students were told to leave campus at spring break and to complete the semester remotely. This study evaluates effects of this disruption on student well-being. Measures of psychological symptoms, perceived stress, and alcohol use during the pandemic were completed by 148 students in spring 2020 and 352 students in fall 2020 at a university in the southeastern U.S. Results from both cohorts were compared to 240 students who completed the same measures in the fall 2019 semester. Participants in spring 2020 reported more mood disorder symptoms, perceived stress, and alcohol use than did pre-pandemic participants and worry about COVID-19 was negatively associated with well-being. By fall 2020 symptoms had largely returned to pre-pandemic levels. In general, White students reported a greater effect of the pandemic on well-being than did African American students. Young adults appear to be less vulnerable to the most serious medical complications associated with COVID-19, but nonetheless experience psychological effects from the pandemic. Universities and practitioners who work with college students can help young adults manage their symptoms and avoid behaviors like risky alcohol use when confronted with stressors such as the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Alcohol Drinking in College/psychology , COVID-19/psychology , COVID-19/transmission , SARS-CoV-2 , Stress, Psychological/complications , Adolescent , Fear , Female , Humans , Male , Mood Disorders/psychology , Risk Factors , Southeastern United States , Stress, Psychological/psychology , Young Adult
12.
J Stud Alcohol Drugs ; 81(6): 725-730, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-973014

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: It is well established that college students increase their drinking when they leave home. This study examined changes in drinking as a result of campus closure due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), focusing on the influence of living situation. METHOD: A sample of 312 college students (mean age = 21.2 years; 62% female; 67% White) responded to an online survey regarding their drinking behavior before and after university closures because of COVID-19. Those participants who lived with peers pre-closure and moved home to live with parents post-closure were compared with those who remained living with peers or remained living with parents in terms of changes in frequency and quantity of drinking. RESULTS: A comparison of pre- to post-closure drinking indicated significant decreases in the typical number of drinks per week (from 11.5 to 9.9) and maximum drinks per day (from 4.9 to 3.3) and a slight increase in typical drinking days per week (from 3 to 3.2). Patterns of change significantly varied across groups. Those who moved from peers to parents showed significantly greater reductions in drinking days (from 3.1 to 2.7), number of drinks per week (from 13.9 to 8.5), and maximum drinks in one day (from 5.4 to 2.9) than those who remained living with peers or with parents. In contrast, the latter two groups significantly increased their frequency (from 3.0 to 3.7 days and 2.0 to 3.3 days, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Participants reduced their quantity of drinking during the COVID-19 pandemic. Returning to live with parents during emerging adulthood may be protective for heavy drinking.


Subject(s)
Alcohol Drinking in College/psychology , Alcohol Drinking/psychology , COVID-19/psychology , Residence Characteristics , Students/psychology , Universities , Adolescent , Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology , Alcohol Drinking/trends , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Peer Group , Quarantine/psychology , Quarantine/trends , Residence Characteristics/statistics & numerical data , Students/statistics & numerical data , Surveys and Questionnaires , Universities/statistics & numerical data , Universities/trends , Young Adult
13.
Addict Behav ; 115: 106772, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-965671

ABSTRACT

The global outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the resulting lockdown measures have raised concerns regarding their effect on alcohol consumption. We investigated alcohol use during lockdown in a population of college students, usually characterized by social and heavy drinking. We also tested the predictive role of pre-lockdown drinking motives on alcohol consumption during lockdown. We collected data from 1951 French-speaking Belgian students during the lockdown period (April 1st - May 3rd, 2020) through a cross-sectional online survey. Participants self-reported their daily alcohol consumption (1) during a typical week in normal circumstances (i.e., before lockdown), and (2) since lockdown onset. We also assessed drinking motives and severity of alcohol use before lockdown. Our findings showed that 68.2% of the sample reported a lower alcohol consumption during lockdown compared to before lockdown, 17.2% conversely reporting a higher consumption. Enhancement, social and coping motives were all associated with heavy drinking before lockdown. Enhancement and social motives predicted lower alcohol consumption during lockdown among heavy drinkers. Conversely, coping motives, as well as social motives among low drinkers, predicted higher consumption during lockdown. Conformity motives, as well as enhancement motives among low and moderate drinkers, did not predict alcohol consumption before or during lockdown. Overall, several pre-lockdown drinking motives reliably predicted alcohol consumption during lockdown and could thus be used to identify at-risk populations and to tailor intervention programs on alcohol misuse during sanitary crises.


Subject(s)
Adaptation, Psychological , Alcohol Drinking in College/psychology , COVID-19/psychology , Motivation , Quarantine/psychology , Social Behavior , Adult , Belgium , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Students/psychology , Surveys and Questionnaires , Universities , Young Adult
14.
Addict Behav ; 110: 106527, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-622352

ABSTRACT

Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, universities across the country abruptly closed campuses and transitioned to remote learning. The effects of these unprecedented closures are unknown. The current study examined reported alcohol consumption during the week prior to and after campus closure at a public university in Northeast Ohio. Analysis of data from 1,958 students, who endorsed using alcohol in the past 30 days, demonstrates that alcohol consumption (amount and frequency) increased as time progressed. Those with more symptoms of depression and anxiety reported greater increases in alcohol consumption (assessed via retrospective timeline follow-back) compared to students with fewer symptoms. Furthermore, students with greater perceived social support reported less alcohol consumption. Together, these findings highlight the need for universities to offer services and programs to students that will minimize risk factors and maximize protective factors in order to reduce or prevent alcohol abuse during the coronavirus pandemic.


Subject(s)
Alcohol Drinking in College/psychology , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Social Support , Stress, Psychological/psychology , Students/psychology , Adult , COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Male , Ohio , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Students/statistics & numerical data , Universities , Young Adult
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