The role of executive function in bridging the intention-behaviour gap for binge-drinking in university students

Barbara Mullan*, Cara Wong, Vanessa Allom, Sophia Laurel Pack

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Alcohol consumption contributes to a significant proportion of disease and the high prevalence amongst young adults is a worldwide health concern. Purpose: To determine which aspects of executive function (EF) distinguish binge-drinkers from non binge-drinkers and to establish the role of EF in predicting behaviour. Methods: Self-report questionnaires, four tests of self-regulation and a behaviour measure were administered to 153 students. Results: The Theory of Planned Behaviour model was significant in predicting both intentions and behaviour. Although binge-drinkers and non binge-drinkers were found to differ on three of the four measures of EF, none predicted additional variance in behaviour. Planning ability and inhibition control moderated the relationship between intention and behaviour such that for individuals who intended to binge-drink, those with high planning ability or high inhibitory control were more likely to avoid doing so. Conclusions: Interventions targeting binge-drinking behaviour should aim to develop planning skills and inhibitory control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1023-1026
Number of pages4
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Volume36
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Binge-drinking
  • Executive function
  • Self-regulation
  • Theory of planned behaviour

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