Frequency and Correlates of Diary-Measured Hangoverlike Experiences in a College Sample

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A sample of college students, oversampled for smoking (N = 127, 43% smokers), monitored their daily experiences using electronic diaries over 14 days. We examined the frequency and correlates of liberally defined hangoverlike experiences (HLEs) using data from 1,595 person-days (1,325 after abstention from drinking and 270 after drinking, including 125 HLEs). More than 40% of the sample reported at least one HLE, and nearly half of all drinking episodes were followed by HLE. Endorsement of HLE was more likely as the number of drinks increased and was associated with modest elevations of hangover symptoms. Gender did not predict rates of overall HLE endorsement, but male students were less likely than female students to report an HLE after a drinking episode and showed a weaker relation between number of drinks and HLE. Smokers were more likely to report HLE, but there was no evidence that smoking status was associated with increased HLE susceptibility. Self-reported parental alcohol problems were associated with more frequent HLE and incrementally predicted HLE endorsement when number of drinks was covaried. The findings suggest that HLE is a common outcome of college drinking and attest to the feasibility of using electronic diaries to assess its episode- and person-level correlates.

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