Journal Mobile Options
Table of Contents
Vol. 14, No. 1, 2008
Issue release date: January 2008
Eur Addict Res 2008;14:11–18

College Students’ Drinking Patterns: Trajectories of AUDIT Scores during the First Four Years at University

Johnsson K.O. · Leifman A. · Berglund M.
aClinical Alcohol Research, Lund University, Malmö University Hospital, Malmö, and bDivision of Clinical Alcohol and Drug Addiction, Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden

Individual Users: Register with Karger Login Information

Please create your User ID & Password

Contact Information

I have read the Karger Terms and Conditions and agree.

To view the fulltext, please log in

To view the pdf, please log in


Aims: Changes in AUDIT score trajectories were examined in a student population during their first 4 years at a university, including high-risk consumers and a subsample of low-risk consumers. Method: 359 students were selected for the present study, comprising all high-risk consumers (the 27% with highest scores, i.e. 11 for males and 7 for females) and a randomized sample of low-risk consumers (n = 177 and 182, respectively). The Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) was used as screening instrument. Trajectory analyses were made using a semiparametric group-based model. Results: In the low-AUDIT group, five distinct trajectories were identified: three stable non-risky consumption groups (83%) and two increasing groups (17%; from non-risky to risky). In the high-AUDIT group, three groups were identified: two stable high groups (58%) and one decreasing group (from risky to non-risky consumption; 41%). In the integrated model, stable risky consumption comprised 16% of the total sample, decreasing consumption 11%, increasing consumption comprised 13% and stable non-risky consumption 60% of the sample. Gender influenced the trajectories. Conclusion: The pattern of changes in risk consumption is similar to that found in corresponding US studies.

Copyright / Drug Dosage

Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher or, in the case of photocopying, direct payment of a specified fee to the Copyright Clearance Center.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.


  1. Slutske WS: Alcohol use disorders among US college students and their non-college-attending peers. Arch Gen Psychiatry 2005;62:321–327.
  2. Slutske WS, Hunt-Carter EE, Nabors-Oberg RE, Sher KJ, Bucholz KK, Madden PA, Anokhin A, Heath AC: Do college students drink more than their non-college-attending peers? Evidence from a population-based longitudinal female twin study. J Abnorm Psychol 2004;113:530–540.
  3. Dawson DA, Grant BF, Stinson FS, Chou PS: Another look at heavy episodic drinking and alcohol use disorders among college and noncollege youth. J Stud Alcohol 2004;65:477–488.
  4. Grant BF, Dawson DA, Stinson FS, Chou PS, Dufour MC, Pickering RP: The 12-month prevalence and trends in DSM-IV alcohol abuse and dependence: United States, 1991–1992 and 2001–2002. Drug Alcohol Depend 2004;74:223–234.
  5. Granville-Chapman JE, Yu K, White PD: A follow-up survey of alcohol consumption and knowledge in medical students. Alcohol Alcohol 2001;36:540–543.
  6. Nelson TF, Naimi TS, Brewer RD, Wechsler H: The state sets the rate: the relationship among state-specific college binge drinking, state binge drinking rates, and selected state alcohol control policies. Am J Public Health 2005;95:441–446.
  7. Jennison KM: The short-term effects and unintended long-term consequences of binge drinking in college: a 10-year follow-up study. Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse 2004;30:659–684.
  8. Hingson R, Heeren T, Winter M, Wechsler H: Magnitude of alcohol-related mortality and morbidity among U.S. college students ages 8–24: changes from 1998 to 2001. Annu Rev Public Health 2005;26:259–279.
  9. McCabe SE, Knight JR, Teter CJ, Wechsler H: Nonmedical use of prescription stimulants among U.S. college students: prevalence and correlates from a national survey. Addict Behav 2005;100:96–106.

    External Resources

  10. Wechsler H, Lee JE, Nelson TF, Lee H: Drinking and driving among college students: the influence of alcohol-control policies. Am J Prev Med 2003;25:212–218.
  11. Schulenberg JE, Maggs JL: A developmental perspective on alcohol use and heavy drinking during adolescence and the transition to young adulthood. J Stud Alcohol Suppl 2002;(14):54–70.

    External Resources

  12. Baer JS, Kivlahan DR, Marlatt GA: High-risk drinking across the transition from high school to college. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 1995;19:54–61.
  13. Hill KG, White HR, Chung IJ, Hawkins JD, Catalano RF: Early adult outcomes of adolescent binge drinking: person- and variable-centered analyses of binge drinking trajectories. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 2000;24:892–901.
  14. Schulenberg J, Maggs JL, Long SW, Sher KJ, Gotham HJ, Baer JS, Kivlahan DR, Marlatt GA, Zucker RA: The problem of college drinking: insights from a developmental perspective. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 2001;25:473–477.
  15. Tucker JS, Orlando M, Ellickson PL: Patterns and correlates of binge drinking trajectories from early adolescence to young adulthood. Health Psychol 2003;22:79–87.
  16. Muthén B, Muthén LK: Integrating person-centered and variable-centered analyses: growth mixture modeling with latent trajectory classes. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 2000;24:882–891.
  17. Muthén B, Brown CH, Masyn K, Jo B, Khoo ST, Yang CC, Wang CP, Kellam SG, Carlin JB, Liao J: General growth mixture modeling for randomized preventive interventions. Biostatistics 2002;3:459–475.
  18. Nagin DS: Analyzing developmental trajectories: a semiparametric, group-based approach. Psychol Methods 1999;4:139–157.

    External Resources

  19. Schulenberg J, O’Malley PM, Bachman JG, Wadsworth KN, Johnston LD: Getting drunk and growing up: trajectories of frequent binge drinking during the transition to young adulthood. J Stud Alcohol 1996;57:289–304.
  20. Windle M, Mun EY, Windle RC: Adolescent-to-young adulthood heavy drinking trajectories and their prospective predictors. J Stud Alcohol 2005;66:313–322.
  21. Greenbaum PE, DelBoca FK, Darkes J, Wang CP, Goldman MS: Variation in the drinking trajectories of freshmen college students. J Consult Clin Psychol 2005;73:229–238.
  22. Casswell S, Pledger M, Pratap S: Trajectories of drinking from 18 to 26 years: identification and prediction. Addiction 2002;97:1427–1437.
  23. Toumbourou JW, Williams IR, Snow PC, White VM: Adolescent alcohol-use trajectories in the transition from high school. Drug Alcohol Rev 2003;22:111–116.
  24. Wells JE, Horwood LJ, Fergusson DM: Stability and instability in alcohol diagnosis from ages 18 to 21 and ages 21 to 25 years. Drug Alcohol Depend 2006;81:157–165.
  25. Chassin L, Pitts SC, Prost J: Binge drinking trajectories from adolescence to emerging adulthood in a high-risk sample: predictors and substance abuse outcomes. J Consult Clin Psychol 2002;70:67–78.
  26. Oesterle S, Hill KG, Hawkins JD, Guo J, Catalano RF, Abbott RD: Adolescent heavy episodic drinking trajectories and health in young adulthood. J Stud Alcohol 2004;65:204–212.
  27. Jackson KM, Sher KJ, Schulenberg JE: Conjoint developmental trajectories of young adult alcohol and tobacco use. J Abnorm Psychol 2005;114:612–626.
  28. Li F, Duncan TE, Hops H: Examining developmental trajectories in adolescent alcohol use using piecewise growth mixture modeling analysis. J Stud Alcohol 2001;62:199–210.
  29. Johnsson KO, Berglund M: Comparison between a cognitive behavioural alcohol programme and post-mailed minimal intervention in high-risk drinking university freshmen: results from a randomized controlled trial. Alcohol Alcohol 2006;41:174–180.

    External Resources

  30. Saunders JB, Aasland OG, Babor TF, de la Fuente JR, Grant M: Development of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT): WHO Collaborative Project on Early Detection of Persons with Harmful Alcohol Consumption – II. Addiction 1993;88:791–804.
  31. Kokotailo PK, Egan J, Gangnon R, Brown D, Mundt M, Fleming M: Validity of the alcohol use disorders identification test in college students. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 2004;28:914–920.
  32. Reinert DF, Allen JP: The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT): a review of recent research. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 2002;26:272–279.
  33. Bergman H, Kallmen H, Rydberg U, Sandahl C: Ten questions about alcohol as identifier of addiction problems. Psychometric tests at an emergency psychiatric department (in Swedish). Lakartidningen 1998;95:4731–4735.
  34. Jones B, Nagin D, Roeder K: A SAS procedure based on mixture models for estimating developmental trajectories. Sociol Method Res 2001;29:374–393.
  35. Bullock S: Alcohol, Drugs and Student Lifestyle: A Study of the Attitudes, Beliefs and Use of Alcohol and Drugs among Swedish University Students. SoRAD Report Series. Stockholm, Center for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs, 2004.
  36. Baer JS, Kivlahan DR, Blume AW, McKnight P, Marlatt GA: Brief intervention for heavy-drinking college students: 4-year follow-up and natural history. Am J Public Health 2001;91:1310–1316.
  37. Neighbors C, Larimer ME, Lewis MA: Targeting misperceptions of descriptive drinking norms: efficacy of a computer-delivered personalized normative feedback intervention. J Consult Clin Psychol 2004;72:434–447.
  38. Larimer ME, Turner AP, Anderson BK, Fader JS, Kilmer JR, Palmer RS, Cronce JM: Evaluating a brief alcohol intervention with fraternities. J Stud Alcohol 2001;62:370–380.
  39. Agostinelli G, Brown JM, Miller WR: Effects of normative feedback on consumption among heavy drinking college students. J Drug Educ 1995;25:31–40.
  40. Walters ST, Bennett ME, Miller JH: Reducing alcohol use in college students: a controlled trial of two brief interventions. J Drug Educ 2000;30:361–372.
  41. Marlatt GA, Baer JS, Kivlahan DR, Dimeff LA, Larimer ME, Quigley LA, Somers JM, Williams E: Screening and brief intervention for high-risk college student drinkers: results from a 2-year follow-up assessment. J Consult Clin Psychol 1998;66:604–615.
  42. Grant BF, Dawson DA: Age at onset of alcohol use and its association with DSM-IV alcohol abuse and dependence: results from the National Longitudinal Alcohol Epidemiologic Survey. J Subst Abuse 1997;9:103–110.
  43. Grant B: Prevalence and correlates of alcohol use and DSM-IV alcohol dependence in the United States: results of the National Longitudinal Alcohol Epidemiologic Survey. J Stud Alcohol 1997;58:464–473.
  44. Sundbom L: Studenterna och alkoholen. En undersökning av alkoholvanorna bland medlemmar i Uppsala Studentkår. Uppsala, Uppsala University Press, 1992.
  45. Eriksson A, Olsson B: Alkoholvanor bland studerande. SoRAD Report Series. Stockholm, Center for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs, 2004.
  46. Johnsson KO, Berglund M: Education of key personnel in student pubs leads to a decrease in alcohol consumption among the patrons: a randomized controlled trial. Addiction 2003;98:627–633.
  47. Benson TA, Ambrose C, Mulfinger AM, Correia CJ: Integrating mailed personalized feedback and alcohol screening events: a feasibility study. J Drug Educ 2004;34:327–334.
  48. Kypri K, Saunders JB, Williams SM, McGee RO, Langley JD, Cashell-Smith ML, Gallager SJ: Web-based screening and brief intervention for hazardous drinking: a double-blind randomized controlled trial. Addiction 2004;99:1410–1417.
  49. Shields AL, Guttmannova K, Caruso JC: An examination of the factor structure of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test in two high-risk samples. Subst Use Misuse 2004;39:1161–1182.
  50. McShane KE, Cunningham JA: The role of relevancy in normative feedback for university students’ drinking patterns. Addict Behav 2003;28:1523–1528.
  51. Kypri K, Langley JD, McGee R, Saunders JB, Williams S: High prevalence, persistent hazardous drinking among New Zealand tertiary students. Alcohol Alcohol 2002;37:457–464.
  52. Fleming MF, Barry KL, MacDonald R: The alcohol use disorders identification test (AUDIT) in a college sample. Int J Addict 1991;26:1173–1185.
  53. O’Hare T, Sherrer MV: Validating the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test with college first-offenders. J Subst Abuse Treat 1999;17:113–119.

Pay-per-View Options
Direct payment This item at the regular price: USD 38.00
Payment from account With a Karger Pay-per-View account (down payment USD 150) you profit from a special rate for this and other single items.
This item at the discounted price: USD 26.50