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Addict Behav. 2017 Nov;74:134-139. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2017.06.004. Epub 2017 Jun 5.

Patterns of high-intensity drinking among young adults in the United States: A repeated measures latent class analysis.

Author information

1
Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, 426 Thompson St., Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1248, USA. Electronic address: meganpat@umich.edu.
2
Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, 426 Thompson St., Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1248, USA.
3
Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, 426 Thompson St., Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1248, USA; Department of Psychology, University of Michigan, 1004 East Hall, 530 Church Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1043, USA.
4
The Methodology Center, College of Health and Human Development, The Pennsylvania State University, 406 Health and Human Development Building, University Park, PA 16802, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Using a national sample of young adults, this study identified latent classes of alcohol use including high-intensity drinking (10+ drinks) from ages 18 to 25/26, and explored associations between time-invariant covariates measured at age 18 and class membership.

METHOD:

Longitudinal data from the national Monitoring the Future study were available for 1078 individuals (51% female) first surveyed as 12th grade students in 2005-2008, and followed through modal age 25/26. Repeated measures latent class analysis was used to identify latent classes based on self-reported alcohol use: no past 30-day drinking, 1-9 drinks per occasion in the past 2weeks, and 10+ drinks per occasion.

RESULTS:

Four latent classes of alcohol use from ages 18 to 25/26 were identified: (1) Non-Drinkers (21%); (2) Legal Non-High-Intensity Drinkers (23%); (3) Persistent Non-High-Intensity Drinkers (40%); and (4) High-Intensity Drinkers (16%). Membership in the High-Intensity Drinkers class was characterized by higher than average probabilities of high-intensity drinking at all ages, with the probability of high-intensity drinking increasing between ages 18 and 21/22. Both gender and race/ethnicity significantly differentiated class membership, whereas neither parental education (a proxy for socioeconomic status) nor college plans at 12th grade showed significant associations.

CONCLUSIONS:

More than one in seven individuals who were seniors in high school experienced a long-term pattern of high-intensity drinking lasting into middle young adulthood. Young adult high-intensity drinking is often preceded by high-intensity drinking in high school, suggesting the importance of screening and prevention for high-intensity drinking during adolescence.

KEYWORDS:

Alcohol; High-intensity drinking; Latent class analysis; Longitudinal

PMID:
28628871
PMCID:
PMC5550283
[Available on 2018-11-01]
DOI:
10.1016/j.addbeh.2017.06.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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