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J Stud Alcohol. 2005 Mar;66(2):291-4.

It's all fun and games...or is it? Collegiate sporting events and celebratory drinking.

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Centerfor Health and Behavior, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, USA.



Heavy drinking is prevalent on college campuses, and collegiate sporting events may precipitate heavy drinking. Despite this, relatively few studies have examined student drinking on the days of sporting events. In 2003, Syracuse University won the men's National College Athletic Association basketball championship; ongoing data collection allowed an investigation of alcohol consumption at Syracuse University during the two Final Four game days, when the semifinals and championship games are played. The goals of the study were to examine the level of alcohol use on these days and to examine factors related to game-day consumption.


As a part of an ongoing study, 206 undergraduate students completed several questionnaires, then returned daily drinking diaries at 1-week intervals for 4 consecutive weeks.


Alcohol consumption levels on the two game days exceeded what is typical on campus. Further analyses conducted using zero-inflated negative binomial regression modeling demonstrated that heavier drinkers were more likely to drink alcohol, and drink alcohol heavily, on both game days. Furthermore, lack of impulse control was independently associated with an increased likelihood of drinking on both days.


Although results from this study should be considered preliminary, these data document heavier drinking associated with high-profile athletic events. Sporting events may be a particularly opportune time and venue for collegiate risk-reduction programs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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