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Journal Article


Poulton A, Mata A, Pan J, Bruns LR, Sinnott RO, Hester R. Alcohol Clin. Exp. Res. 2019; 43(5): 877-887.


Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne, Parkville, 3010, VIC, Australia.


(Copyright © 2019, John Wiley and Sons)






BACKGROUND: The alcohol consumption patterns of young adults are of concern. Critically, tertiary students consume greater quantities of alcohol, are at increased risk of injury/harm, and have higher rates of alcohol use disorders (AUD) as compared to their non-university enrolled peers. The Brief Young Adult Alcohol Consequences Questionnaire (BYAACQ) is one of several tools utilised to explore adverse alcohol-related outcomes among tertiary students. Alcohol intake behaviour, assessed via retrospective summary measures, has been linked to BYAACQ score. It is unclear, however, how drinking assessed in real-time, in conjunction with variables such as age of drinking onset, might predict severity of adverse alcohol consequences as captured by the BYAACQ.

METHODS: The psychometric properties of the BYAACQ were explored using a large Australian sample of tertiary students (N = 893). A subsample (n = 504) provided alcohol intake information in real-time (21 days; event- and notification-contingent) via a smartphone app (CNLab-A) plus details related to age of drinking onset, drug use, parental alcohol/drug use, and anxiety/depression symptomology.

RESULTS: Average BYAACQ score was 7.23 (SD = 5.47). Classical and item response theory analyses revealed inconsistencies related to dimensionality, progressive item severity, and male/female differential item functioning. Current drinking - namely, frequency of intake and quantity per drinking occasion - plus age of drinking onset predicted BYAACQ score after controlling for age, other drug use, and depression symptomology.

CONCLUSIONS: The BYAACQ is a sound tool for use with Australian samples. Information related to current drinking, age of drinking onset, and drug use is useful for predicting severity of alcohol use consequences. These markers might enable tertiary institutions to better target students who could benefit from prevention/intervention programs.

This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Language: en


; Age of drinking onset; Alcohol; Consequences; Tertiary students


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