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Brittany Garcia PSYCH 390 Journal Article Summary Hangover Sensitivity after Controlled Alcohol Administration as Predictor of Post-college

Drinking This study sought to predict the risk of drinking problems in later adulthood based on peoples drinking behaviors in their college years. By determining this, researchers would be able to provide early intervention and prevention to these individuals. There have been several studies that have looked at the effects of alcohol and various factors that are correlated with alcohol consumption; however, until now, none had taken into consideration an individuals sensitivity to hangovers. The characteristics of a hangover include headache, nausea, and fatigue. Previous studies that evaluated the use of alcohol found that the more frequent a person drinks, the fewer hangovers they had; however, they had them more often. Another study found that there was a relationship between frequency of heavy drinking and hangovers which was found to be higher among college woman than men. The results of such studies are hard to project on the futures of these individuals due to two major factors. First, it has been shown that those with low sensitivity to the effects of alcohol are predicted to have a heavy consumption of alcohol 5 years later. The second factor is that drinkers may experience very minimal hangover effects which would result in heavier drinking patterns. Or someone may have a combination of these two factors with an increased insensitivity to intoxication and hangovers which would only lead someone to believe that they are able to then consume more alcohol than they actually can.

In this particular experiment, a cohort study was conducted with heavy drinking college seniors. The severity of their hangovers were measured after numerous factors were controlled including alcohol dosage; gender; weight; narrow range of breath alcohol; amount of time in bed; food; caffeine; and time after awakening. The hypothesis was that when these students were evaluated while they were still in college, they would have lower hangover severity which would then predict problems that they would have once they were evaluated again after college. The findings from this study were that the greater the severity of the hangover, the less likely an individual is to develop clinical alcohol problemsthe opposite of what the previous studies found. This study also did not provide solid support that hangovers would reduce drinking since the consequences of doing say may be delayed for several hours. However, the severity of a hangover may lead to a predisposition of alcohol abuse. I thought that this was a very interesting; however, I did feel that it was a very difficult study to gain solid outcomes despite the numerous controls that were put on the experiment. There are so many factors that may have an effect on how a person responds to different amounts of alcohol, including biological and environmental variables, that it is virtually impossible to make generalized assumptions for other people and the possible alcohol abuse in the future. I think what also made it difficult in this study was the fact that the number of participants they had was relatively small. I think this a very good idea for an experiment but I think it needs to be done again with maybe a larger group of participants and a better way of finding and contacting the participants after they have graduated. I think that if this study were done properly and yielded substantial results, it would be a great way to get college students to understand that though they think they can simply change their drinking behaviors, that it may hold potentially more dangerous consequences to their future later down the line.