Objective: Because research has indicated women may be at increased risk for alcohol-related health problems, identifying risk factors for alcohol use among college women has become increasingly important. Previous studies report a relationship between premenstrual symptoms (PMS) and alcohol consumption among women seeking treatment for symptoms; however, results have been inconsistent among nonclinical samples. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between premenstrual symptomatology and alcohol consumption in a sample of college women.
Method: Women (N = 193) from a large urban university consented to complete an assessment battery of health behavior questionnaires which included a retrospective assessment of PMS severity and typical weekend and weekday alcohol consumption during the past year.
Results: Results revealed that PMS severity significantly predicted annual weekday alcohol consumption but did not predict annual weekend alcohol consumption.
Conclusions: Our study suggests the relationship between PMS and alcohol consumption exists in nonclinical samples of college women who are relatively early in their drinking careers, before the development of severe alcohol-related problems. Thus, premenstrual symptomatology may be an important risk factor for alcohol consumption among college women. Education on the relationship between PMS and risk for alcohol misuse may provide beneficial information for both alcohol prevention and intervention efforts on college campuses and may be helpful in identifying women at risk for heavy alcohol consumption and alcohol problems.