Progression Into and Out of Binge Drinking Among High School Students


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Abstract

The current study examined binge drinking among high school students over an academic year. Adolescent drinkers (N = 621; 58% female) were grouped into 4 trajectories: drinkers (35%), increasers (14%), decreasers (16%), and persistent binge drinkers (35%). Prospective analyses indicated several factors that predicted escalation and de-escalation of binge drinking. Increasers were more likely to regularly use alcohol and cigarettes at a younger age than drinkers. Compared with decreasers, persistent binge drinkers reported regular alcohol and marijuana use at younger ages. Lower levels of perceived student drinking appeared to be a protective factor for onset of binge drinking. The results highlight the need to study precursors to the naturally occurring fluctuations in binge drinking and suggest factors that may accentuate the risk of binge drinking.

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