Send to

Choose Destination
Addict Behav. 2014 Jun;39(6):1106-12. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2014.03.011. Epub 2014 Mar 13.

Alcohol use, drinking consequences, and sensitivity to social cues among college women.

Author information

Pacific University, United States. Electronic address:
Idaho State University, United States.
St. Peter's Hospital, Helena, MT, United States.


College students who drink vary in the extent to which they experience drinking consequences, prompting a need to identify factors that differentiate higher-risk drinkers from others. The present study investigated whether difficulty in processing subtle social information is related to negative drinking consequences experienced within the past year. Specifically, poor ability to detect subtle non-verbal sarcasm cues was predicted to contribute to drinking consequences. Participants were 39 women, aged 18 to 27 (M=22), who were enrolled in a public, four-year university. Participants completed a video measure of ability to detect sarcastic comments. After controlling for (high school drinking consequences, maximum drinks in the past 3 months, age), poorer performance in the Simple Sarcasm condition (which provided no cues to others' intentions) explained an additional 10.8% of the variance in recent drinking consequences (ΔF (1, 34)=6.15, p=.018). When predicting risky/hazardous alcohol use consequences (e.g., driving intoxicated, fights, unplanned/unprotected sex), Simple Sarcasm again improved prediction by explaining an additional 8.6% of the variance (ΔF (1, 34)=4.75, p=.036). Sarcasm conditions that provided additional cues to others' meanings were unrelated to alcohol consequences. Findings are discussed within the context of neurological (orbito-frontal-subcortical) pathways that are common to social information and alcohol reinforcement processes.


Alcohol consequences; College; Social cognition

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center