Reinforcer pathologies: Predicting alcohol related problems in college drinking men and women.

Drug and alcohol dependence

PubMedID: 27515726

Lemley SM, Kaplan BA, Reed DD, Darden AC, Jarmolowicz DP. Reinforcer pathologies: Predicting alcohol related problems in college drinking men and women. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2016;.
BACKGROUND
Alcohol use in college is common, and problematic consequences of alcohol may affect college men and women differently. Approaches within behavioral economics have been used to improve our understanding of alcohol use in college students.

METHODS
The current study assessed relations between college students' delay discounting, demand for alcohol, and alcohol problems as measured by the Young Adult Alcohol Consequences Questionnaire (YAACQ). In this study, 80 college drinkers completed a monetary choice questionnaire that assessed delay discounting of money, a novel beer choice questionnaire that evaluated delay discounting of beer, and an alcohol purchase task that measured demand for alcohol.

RESULTS
Behavioral economic measures associated with the reinforcer pathologies model (i.e., demand and discounting) predicted alcohol consequences as measured by the YAACQ. For men, these significant predictor variables included money discounting, beer discounting, and intensity of alcohol demand, whereas for women money discounting and essential value were significant predictors.

CONCLUSIONS
These findings highlight the utility of the reinforcer pathologies approach for the study of alcohol use and the importance of considering gender differences in examining college drinking.