ERIC Number: ED538194
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Pregaming: A High-Risk Behavior. Prevention Update
Higher Education Center for Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Violence Prevention
"Pregaming" or "pre-loading" is what college students call the practice of drinking alcohol in a private setting prior to attending an organized event or social activity where alcohol might or might not be served. According to one student, "Pregames are usually a fun part of the night because you're just with a few close friends before you go out and meet up with a lot more people and can't chat and laugh with your close friends as much." But the downside to pregaming is that it can lead to higher levels of intoxication as students often continue drinking once they arrive at a party, putting them at risk for a host of alcohol-related problems, including alcohol-impaired driving, unwanted sex, or injury. While there has been little published research to date on the pregaming behavior of students, there is an increasing interest among researchers to both understand the behavior and identify ways to intervene to reduce associated problems. Presidential Leadership Academy students at the Pennsylvania State University researched the topic of high-risk college drinking and presented their findings and proposals in a report on the pregaming phenomenon to a panel of Penn State administrators and professors in May 2010. They recommended that Penn State adopt a blanket policy for its on-campus residence halls and make all of these facilities "dry" so that absolutely no alcohol will be tolerated within the residence hall for any reason, regardless of age of the students. Colleges and universities concerned with the risks that pre-party drinking poses for students have struggled with ways to respond. One way is to ban special events where there is the likelihood that such pregaming will take place, especially if there have been problems in the past. Colleges have attempted other approaches, from turning away the most visibly intoxicated students at the door to making food available at parties.
Descriptors: Drinking, Dormitories, Prevention, Risk, Health Behavior, College Students, Alcohol Abuse, Activities, Motor Vehicles, Traffic Safety, Sexual Abuse, Injuries, Intervention, Leadership Training, Student Research, School Policy, Universities
Higher Education Center for Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Violence Prevention. EDC, Inc. 43 Foundry Avenue, Waltham, MA 02453. Tel: 800-676-1730; Fax: 617-928-1537; e-mail: HigherEdCtr@edc.org; Web site: http://www.edc.org/projects/higher_education_center_alcohol_drug_abuse_and_violence_prevention
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Sponsor: Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools (ED); Education Development Center, Inc.
Authoring Institution: Higher Education Center for Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Violence Prevention (ED)
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania