Celebrating St. Patrick's Day: Students' Expectations, Intent, and Behavior


College students engage in risky alcohol use within a variety of contexts, including specific celebratory events. Student intentions and peer perceptions predict alcohol use; however, how these factors affect specific celebratory drinking may vary from typical alcohol use. The current study sought to better understand event-specific drinking among college students during St. Patrick's Day, as compared to Spring Break. Undergraduate students (N = 82) at a campus with a unique traditional celebration of St. Patrick's Day were surveyed. At Time 1, participants were asked to indicate how much alcohol they intended to drink and how much alcohol they expected other students to drink during St. Patrick's Day and Spring Break. At Time 2, students reported on actual alcohol consumption during both events. Results indicated that participants reported greater intent to consume, expectation of peer consumption, and actual alcohol consumption during St. Patrick's Day as compared to Spring Break. Neither sensation seeking nor impulsivity predicted alcohol use during either event. Findings are discussed in the context of understanding, preventing, and intervening with event-specific drinking among college students.


Psychological Science

Keywords and Phrases

Alcohol; Drinking; Spring Break, St. Patrick's Day; Student

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Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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Publication Date

01 Jan 2016