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The behavioral economics of alcohol demand in Greek-affiliated college students

Abstract : Background College students affiliated with fraternity and sorority, or ``Greek'' life represent a known high-risk group for alcohol consumption and related consequences, but little is known about demand for alcohol in this population. The current study examined behavioral economic demand for alcohol in a sample of Greek life-affiliated undergraduate students using the alcohol purchase task (APT) and a novel variation of the APT that included a fixed-price, nonalcoholic alternative (APT Choice). Methods Participants (n = 229) completed the APT, APT Choice, Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), and Daily Drinking Questionnaire (DDQ). Group demand indices were calculated for the entire sample and then separately for participants who met or did not meet the legal drinking age (21+ or underage, respectively). Independent-sample t tests assessed whether there were any significant differences between the two age cohorts in the percent change in each behavioral economic index from the APT to APT Choice. Tests of correlation evaluated the construct validity of the demand indices from both hypothetical purchase tasks. Results Descriptive statistics on alcohol use in this Greek-affiliated sample revealed ``hazardous'' drinking scores, with AUDIT-C scores exceeding the threshold of alcohol misuse. These measures were significantly correlated with demand indices from both APT conditions, and demand was inversely related to price; however, demand for alcohol was reduced when a nonalcoholic alternative was available. Both age cohorts reported a reduction in BP1 (highest price of nonzero consumption) and an increase in alpha (rate of change in elasticity), but these changes were significantly greater among underage participants. Conclusions Although Greek life-affiliated students demonstrate high demand for alcohol, the concurrent availability of a nonalcoholic alternative reduces alcohol demand, particularly for underage students. These findings suggest that nonalcoholic options may enhance the effectiveness of increasing alcohol prices to reduce alcohol consumption among students at higher risk for alcohol use.
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Soumis le : lundi 28 février 2022 - 10:28:51
Dernière modification le : mercredi 7 septembre 2022 - 09:58:35

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Olivia A. Ortelli, Margaret P. Martinetti. The behavioral economics of alcohol demand in Greek-affiliated college students. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, Wiley, 2021, 45 (11), pp.2322-2334. ⟨10.1111/acer.14704⟩. ⟨hal-03590746⟩

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