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Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. 2016 Apr;24(2):100-9. doi: 10.1037/pha0000068. Epub 2016 Feb 22.

Differences in weekday versus weekend drinking among nonstudent emerging adults.

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Department of Psychology, Old Dominion University.


In the current investigation, we sought to examine "day-of-the-week" drinking of an at-risk sample of nonstudent emerging adults and whether specific factors are associated with differential drinking patterns. Our study aims were to (a) identify differences in weekday versus weekend drinking, and (b) examine specific expectancies (i.e., sociability, tension reduction) and demographic factors (e.g., age, sex) relating to weekend versus weekday drinking after controlling for harmful drinking and holiday drinking. Participants were heavy-drinking noncollege attenders recruited from the community (N = 238; 63.4% men, 35.7% women; M age = 21.92 years). They reported daily drinking for the previous 30 days and completed measures of harmful drinking, alcohol expectancies, and demographic information. Results showed that more drinks were consumed on the weekends (i.e., Thursday to Saturday) than weekdays, with 63% of drinks consumed on weekends. Multilevel modeling analyses indicated that weekday drinking was associated with tension-reduction expectancies, social expectancies, sex, and age. Weekend-drinking increases were related to social expectancies, but not tension-reduction expectancies. Our final model indicated that, after controlling for the effect of holiday drinking, the within-person weekday-weekend distinction explained 18% of the total variance. In general, our findings highlight the importance of alcohol expectancies and drinking contexts in understanding the drinking behaviors of nonstudents. The differential role of tension-reduction and social-facilitation expectancies on drinking throughout the week imply that different cognitive pathways are involved in weekday versus weekend drinking, and both types of expected alcohol effects should be targets of risk-reduction efforts with nonstudent drinkers.

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