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Journal Article


O'Hara RE, Wang W, Troisi JD. Psychol. Rep. 2019; ePub(ePub): ePub.


Department of Psychology, Sewanee: The University of the South, Sewanee, TN, USA.


(Copyright © 2019, SAGE Publishing)






Thanksgiving is known for celebration, indulgence, and, unfortunately, alcohol-related consequences. No research to date, however, has explored predictors of Thanksgiving drinking that may help to explain the risky behaviors commonly observed over this holiday. We examined whether Thanksgiving Day drinking is related to expectations about the holiday and negative affect, as well as gender differences in these associations. This study is the first to examine Thanksgiving as a high-risk drinking event and to focus exclusively on U.S. non-college adults. Two hundred eight participants recruited via Amazon Mechanical Turk completed online surveys one week before, one day before, and one day after Thanksgiving 2016. Measures included expectations about Thanksgiving, daily anxiety, depressed affect, stress, and alcohol use. Logistic and Poisson regressions were used to predict whether participants drank and how much they drank on Thanksgiving Day, respectively. Choosing to drink on Thanksgiving was associated with higher daily anxiety but not with daily depressed affect or stress. Among men who drank on Thanksgiving, higher daily depressed affect was associated with more consumption, especially for men with positive expectations about Thanksgiving. Among women who drank on Thanksgiving, higher daily depressed affect was associated with more consumption for women with negative expectations about Thanksgiving but less consumption for women with positive expectations. These findings suggest that negative affect experienced during Thanksgiving is relevant to event-specific alcohol use. This study also underscores the importance of research that focuses on specific, high-risk drinking events, and uses samples of non-college U.S. adults.

Language: en


Alcohol; Thanksgiving; expectations; gender differences; holiday


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