Article - post-print
The present study examined the effectiveness of the 2-week period currently used in the categorization of heavy episodic drinking among college students. Two-week drinker-type labels included the following: nonbinge drinker, binge drinker, and frequent binge drinker.
Three samples of college student drinkers (104 volunteers, 283 adjudicated students, and 238 freshmen male students) completed the 3-month Timeline Followback assessment of drinking. Drinking behavior during the last 2 weeks of the month before the study was compared with drinking behavior during the first 2 weeks of the same month to compare behavior and resulting labels during both 2-week periods.
Inconsistencies existed in drinker-type labels during the first 2 weeks of the month and the last 2 weeks of the month for all three samples. Between 40% and 50% of participants in the three samples were classified as a different drinker type across the month. Nonbinge drinkers experienced a wide range of alcohol-related problems, and much variation existed among the frequent-binge-drinker label.
The results suggest that the current definition needs to be modified to accurately identify risky-drinking college students. Expanding the assessment window past 2 weeks of behavior, as well as developing different classification schemes, might categorize risky drinkers more accurately.
This is an author-manuscript of an article accepted for publication in Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs following peer review. The version of record: LaBRIE, J. W., PEDERSEN, E. R., & TAWALBEH, S. (2007). Classifying Risky-Drinking College Students: Another Look at the Two-Week Drinker-Type Categorization. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 68(1), 86–90. is available online at: http://www.jsad.com/doi/10.15288/jsad.2007.68.86.
LaBRIE, J. W., PEDERSEN, E. R., & TAWALBEH, S. (2007). Classifying Risky-Drinking College Students: Another Look at the Two-Week Drinker-Type Categorization. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 68(1), 86–90.