The Relationship between Blacking Out and Gulping Drinks for Female College Students

Dana Marie Nocera


Regardless of the institution, universities across today’s nation are consistently affected by college student alcohol consumption.  One concerning issue with college student alcohol consumption is the risky behaviors that result from drinking.  A risky behavior of particular interest is the issue of "blacking out."  Blacking out, also known as alcohol-involved anterograde amnesia, is defined as a portion of time when you have an inability to recall the past due to the intake of alcohol1.  Female college students are at even more risk for blacking out because female college students experience more negative consequences from drinking when they consume the same amount of alcohol as men2.  In addition, whereas female college students tend to experience more negative outcomes from drinking, men tend to experience more positive ones3.  While engaging in alcohol consumption, many college students "gulp" drinks, meaning they drink quickly or chug.  Although previous literature has shown that drinking alcohol does lead to blacking out, it is unknown if gulping drinks leads to blacking out more frequently.  To replicate the previous literature, the current study sought to determine the drinking behaviors of college students with regards to blacking out.  To extend the previous literature, the current study sought to examine the relationship between gulping drinks and blacking out, specifically for females.  A total of 201 college females at a Midwestern university participated.  Data for this study were collected via an online survey.  On average, female college students reported drinking 1.96 (SD = 1.45) days a week.  On a typical drinking day, female college students reported drinking an average of 3.70 (SD = 2.41) standard drinks.  In addition, it was reported that the participants experienced a blackout an average of 1.81 (SD = 0.84) times in the past year.  It was also reported that 41.1% of the participants gulp drinks.  A Chi-Square test of independence examined the relationship between blacking out and gulping drinks, x2 (n=156, 3) = 21.25, p < .001.  Participants who reported gulping drinks were also more likely to report a history of blacking out.  Future intervention efforts could potentially use this information to tailor materials against gulping drinks.  Messages could address the relationship between blacking out and gulping drinks.


Blackout; Gulping; Drinking

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