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Temporal Estimations and Subjective Evaluations of Alcohol Consequences

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Objectives: College student alcohol interventions utilizing public health messaging describe consequences that are delayed and significantly negative, a strategy shown to be ineffective. It is possible that messaging related to immediate, likely, and less negative consequences may be better at reducing problematic drinking. Although research has investigated perceptions of subjective evaluations, no studies have included perceptions of likelihood of occurrence and temporal estimations of alcohol-related consequences. In the current study, we measured perceptions of consequences in terms of likelihood of occurrence, temporal estimations, and subjective evaluations. Methods: Undergraduate students (N = 308) from a large, Midwestern university completed an online survey assessing alcohol use patterns and perceptions of consequences (ie, likelihood of occurrence, temporal estimations, and subjective evaluations). Results: Students perceived failure to graduate and drunk driving to be the least likely, most negative, and most delayed consequences; vomiting and hangovers were the most likely, least negative, and most immediate consequences. Independent t-tests revealed statistically significant differences between high- and low-risk drinkers. Conclusions: Students perceived differences in consequences on temporal estimation, likelihood of occurrence, and subjective evaluations. Future studies should examine how these perceptions affect subsequent alcohol use.
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Keywords: ALCOHOL; ALCOHOL EXPECTANCIES; BEHAVIORAL ECONOMICS; COLLEGE STUDENT HEALTH; DELAY DISCOUNTING; SUBJECTIVE EVALUATIONS

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Graduate Student, Oklahoma State University, Department of Psychology, Stillwater, OK 2: Professor, Oklahoma State University, Department of Psychology, Stillwater, OK;, Email: [email protected] 3: Oklahoma State University, Department of Psychology, Stillwater, OK

Publication date: September 1, 2019

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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