The authors investigated the alcohol consumption trajectories among first-year university students.
A sample of 415 students attending a large university in Southwestern Ontario, Canada, was recruited.
Students completed a baseline questionnaire and 26 weekly brief Internet surveys assessing alcohol consumption from September 2006 to April 2007.
Findings indicated that alcohol consumption varies considerably as a function of time of the academic year. Overall trends indicate that students drink more heavily at the beginning of each semester and less during exam periods. Daily patterns indicate that most drinking occurs on weekends. The highest drinking days in the first academic year included Halloween, New Year's Eve, and St. Patrick's Day.
The present study provides evidence that periods of high and low alcohol consumption are contingent upon specific events and the time of the year.