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Estimated Blood Alcohol Concentration Correlation with Self-Reported Negative Consequences among College Students Using Alcohol
James C. Turner, Jennifer Bauerle, Jianfen Shu
Objective: The estimated blood alcohol concentration (eBAC) is a potentially useful index of alcohol-induced intoxication and impairment. This study investigates the association of the eBAC with negative consequences associated with alcohol use. Method: Self-reported negative consequences were assessed using a stratified random sampling of 4,708 undergraduate students at a public university with a total enrollment of 12,550. Survey questions permitted the calculation of the “typical” eBAC for each respondent. The eBACs were correlated with demographic characteristics and self-reported negative consequences. The effectiveness of eBAC in predicting negative consequences was compared with drinks per week and consumption at or above the heavy episodic drinking level by calculating receiver operator characteristic values and incremental validity through multiple logistic regressions. Results: The odds of reporting a higher eBAC were significantly elevated for men, underage underclassmen and members of Greek organizations. The odds of reporting a negative consequence were highly associated with each incremental increase in the eBAC. In correlating with negative consequences, the performance of the eBAC index was not significantly different from drinks per week and the heavy episodic drinking index. Conclusions: As an index of alcohol consumption, the “typical” eBAC is correlated with 17 self-reported social and health consequences. There are potential advantages in using the eBAC index for assessing alcohol use among college drinkers. (J. Stud. Alcohol 65: 741- 749, 2004)