Drinking Group Characteristics Related to Willingness to Engage in Protective Behaviors With the Group at Nightclubs

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Electronic music dance events (EMDEs) in nightclubs are settings where young adults tend to engage in high-risk behaviors, such as heavy alcohol and drug use. Consequences of these behaviors may be prevented if young adults engage in protective strategies with their drinking group. It is important to identify drinking group characteristics that predict willingness to intervene with peers. Objectives of this study were to (a) examine whether young adults at EMDEs would be willing to intervene with members of their drinking group and (b) identify both individual and group characteristics of drinking groups that predict willingness to intervene. Nightclub patrons (N = 215 individuals; 80 groups) were surveyed anonymously as they entered clubs. Individual- and group-level characteristics were measured in relation to willingness to intervene with peers. Mixed-model regressions were conducted, accounting for nesting by drinking group. Analyses show that participants were willing to intervene with their peers. Groups that knew each other well and had lower expectations for members’ drinking were more willing to intervene. Women, younger, and older participants were also more willing to intervene. Findings show that club patrons are willing to intervene with their drinking groups to protect them from harmful consequences of heavy drinking and drug use. Findings indicate characteristics of both individuals and drinking groups that could be targeted in interventions among young adults largely not being reached by college interventions.

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