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J Am Coll Health. 2010 Jan-Feb;58(4):307-16. doi: 10.1080/07448480903380300.

Pregaming: an exploratory study of strategic drinking by college students in Pennsylvania.

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  • 1Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts 02118, USA.



This exploratory study examined pre-event drinking, or pregaming, by US college students.


112 undergraduates from 10 Pennsylvania colleges participated.


A focus group, including a written questionnaire, was conducted at each institution.


Only 35.7% of the participants had not pregamed during the last 2 weeks. Pregamers consumed an average of 4.9 (SD = 3.1) drinks during their most recent session. Gender, class year, and other demographic variables did not predict pregaming. Heavier drinkers, and those stating that the average student pregamed 3+ times in the last 2 weeks, were more likely to report pregaming in the last 2 weeks. How much students drink when pregaming is influenced by how much they expect to drink later on.


Pregaming presents a growing challenge for campus officials. Additional research is needed on the nature of the problem and which combination of prevention strategies might best address this behavior.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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