Drinking before drinking: Pregaming and drinking games in mandated students

Brian Borsari, Kelly E. Boyle, John T.P. Hustad, Nancy P. Barnett, Tracy O'Leary Tevyaw, Christopher W. Kahler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations


Pregaming, the practice of consuming alcohol before attending a social function, has not received as much research attention as drinking games among college students. This study investigated the prevalence of both pregaming and drinking game participation in a sample of mandated students (N = 334) who had been referred for an alcohol violation. Approximately one-third (31%) of the sample reported pregaming on the night of their referral event. Pregaming was associated with higher estimated blood alcohol content on that night, along with a greater history of pregaming and taking greater responsibility for the incident. A higher proportion of the students (49%) reported playing drinking games on the event night and reported the event to be less aversive than non-players. Neither drinking games nor pregaming was consistently related to recent alcohol consumption or problems, nor did they frequently occur together on the event night. Pregaming was a unique predictor of intoxication on the night of the referral, and drinking games were not. Therefore, pregaming and drinking games appear to be distinct activities. This research suggests methods of prevention for both activities as well as promising research directions for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2694-2705
Number of pages12
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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