Does hangover have an acute impact on future drinking?
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] Hangover is a common adverse effect of excessive drinking. According to popular culture, hangover purportedly leads to resolutions to quit drinking or reduce drinking in an effort to avoid future hangover symptoms. As such, hangover has been described as a punisher that acutely reduces alcohol consumption. Popular culture also describes alcohol consumption as the consummate cure to hangover, which may lead to increased drinking. The current study is designed to determine whether hangover has an acute influence on future drinking. Specifically, does hangover serve as a punisher, as would be suggested by delayed time to next drink, and/or does hangover function as a setting for negative reinforcement, as would be suggested by drinking immediately following hangover. Data for this study are part of a larger project examining the conjoint use of alcohol and tobacco employing ecological momentary assessment methodology. Participants (n = 386) carried electronic diaries for 21 days reporting on drinking and smoking behaviors and outcomes. In both univariate multilevel and survival models, hangover was not significantly related to the amount of time between drinking episodes. In multivariate models, hangover was only significant in the presence of an interaction effect, suggesting that if hangover does have an acute impact on future drinking, it is among a specific subset of participants. It appears that for the majority of frequent drinkers, hangover may be irrelevant to immediate decisions regarding future drinking.
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