Hangover sensitivity after controlled alcohol administration as predictor of post-college drinking.J Abnorm Psychol 2012; 121(1):270-5JA
Predicting continued problematic levels of drinking after the early 20's could help with early identification of persons at risk. This study investigated whether hangover insensitivity could predict postcollege drinking and problems beyond the variance due to drinking patterns. In a preliminary study, 134 college seniors from a laboratory study of hangover (Time 1) were contacted and assessed 1-4 years (M = 2.3) later (Time 2). Hangover severity was studied after controlled alcohol administration to a specific dose while controlling sleep and environmental influences. Hangover severity at Time 1 was used to predict Time 2 drinking volume and problems while controlling for relevant demographics and Time 1 drinking volume. Hangover insensitivity at Time 1 tended to predict a clinical level of alcohol problems with a large statistical effect size. Hangover sensitivity also correlated positively with sensitivity to alcohol intoxication. Hangover severity did not predict future drinking volume. Hangover insensitivity correlates with insensitivity to intoxication and might predict more serious alcohol problems in the future, suggesting that a future larger study is warranted. Hangover insensitivity could result from physiological factors underlying low sensitivity to alcohol or risk for alcoholism.