Wide variation in understanding about what constitutes 'binge-drinking'

  • Cooke R
  • French D
  • Sniehotta F
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Abstract

Two studies investigated undergraduates’ knowledge of the UK government recommendations about binge drinking and sensible drinking, and also examined how labelling oneself as a binge drinker is associated with binge drinking perceptions. In Study 1, 325 undergraduates reported how many units constitute binge drinking, and labelled themselves as a ‘binge drinker’ or ‘non-binge drinker’. Participants overestimated how many units constitute binge drinking relative to the UK government recommendations. Also, 59% labelled themselves as ‘non-binge drinkers’ and gave significantly higher estimates compared with ‘binge drinkers’. In Study 2, 386 undergraduates defined binge drinking and reported how many units constitute sensible drinking. Only 13% of undergraduates defined binge drinking in terms of units of alcohol, and undergraduates overestimated how many units constitute sensible drinking. This research found wide variation in personal understanding of the term binge drinking and suggests a review of how to communicate recommendations about alcohol consumption to young people is needed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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Authors

  • Richard Cooke

  • David P. French

  • Falko F. Sniehotta

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