Pregaming: an exploratory study of strategic drinking by college students in Pennsylvania

J Am Coll Health. 2010 Jan-Feb;58(4):307-16. doi: 10.1080/07448480903380300.


Objectives: This exploratory study examined pre-event drinking, or pregaming, by US college students.

Participants: 112 undergraduates from 10 Pennsylvania colleges participated.

Method: A focus group, including a written questionnaire, was conducted at each institution.

Results: Only 35.7% of the participants had not pregamed during the last 2 weeks. Pregamers consumed an average of 4.9 (SD = 3.1) drinks during their most recent session. Gender, class year, and other demographic variables did not predict pregaming. Heavier drinkers, and those stating that the average student pregamed 3+ times in the last 2 weeks, were more likely to report pregaming in the last 2 weeks. How much students drink when pregaming is influenced by how much they expect to drink later on.

Conclusion: Pregaming presents a growing challenge for campus officials. Additional research is needed on the nature of the problem and which combination of prevention strategies might best address this behavior.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Pennsylvania
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Sports / statistics & numerical data*
  • Students / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Universities / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult