News Release

Changes in drinking contexts: adolescents' nightly alcohol use

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation

New research from the Prevention Research Center of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation and the Illinois State University examines changes in adolescent drinking over the course of the evening and finds that:

  • Drinking earlier in the evening is positively associated with continued drinking over the night course.
  • Adolescents' drinking contexts change through the evening including:
    • Situational factors, such as alcohol availability and adult supervision, social factors, such as the number of people and presence of friends, location factors, such as home settings
  • Specific contextual characteristics shape drinking behavior at later times in the evening:
    • Being at home earlier in the evening (5pm-8pm) was associated with lower odds of drinking in mid-evening (8pm to 11pm) and being at home in mid-evening increased alcohol use in the late evening (11pm+).
    • Adult supervision earlier in the evening was associated with greater odds of mid-evening alcohol use.
    • Being with fewer people earlier in the evening was associated with increased risks for alcohol use in mid-evening.

Says co-author of the study, Dr. Sharon Lipperman-Kreda: "The fact that contextual factors are modifiable suggests that the use of prevention strategies delivered to adolescents throughout evenings of drinking may reduce high-risk drinking and related harms."


Source: Finan, L. J., & Lipperman?Kreda, S. (2020). Changes in Drinking Contexts over the Night Course: Concurrent and Lagged Associations with Adolescents' Nightly Alcohol Use. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

PIRE is an independent, nonprofit organization merging scientific knowledge and proven practice to create solutions that improve the health, safety and well-being of individuals, communities, and nations around the world.

The Prevention Research Center (PRC) of PIRE is one of 16 centers sponsored by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), of the National Institutes of Health, and is the only one that specializes in prevention. PRC's focus is on conducting research to better understand the social and physical environments that influence individual behavior that lead to alcohol and drug misuse.

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