The Relationship Between Reward Sensitivity and the Motivation to Drink Alcohol Before Going to Events Where Alcohol is Served (Pre-Drink)
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The term “pre-drinking” refers to the purposeful act of drinking alcohol before attending an event where alcohol is served. This practice is associated with higher overall alcohol consumption per drinking episode and a greater number of adverse alcoholrelated events. Some studies suggest that young women may be particularly vulnerable to this practice. To improve prevention efforts, it is important to understand the factors that may contribute to pre-drinking. To this end, the current study focused on the interrelationships between reward sensitivity (both behavioral indices and self-reported levels), drinking motives, and quantity/frequency of pre-drinking among female college students. Based on previous studies, it was hypothesized that enhancement drinking motives would mediate the relationship between reward sensitivity and pre-drinking. Results indicated that, while enhancement motives were related to both reward sensitivity and pre-drinking (either significantly, or at the trend level), correlations between reward sensitivity and pre-drinking were not significant in this participant sample. Taken together, the results of this study suggest that female college students who drink for enhancement reasons may be at greater risk of engaging in pre-drinking behaviors. Ultimately, this information could contribute to the improvement of prevention efforts on college campuses.