Thinking and drinking: Associations between momentary thoughts and alcohol consumption during COVID-19 lockdown

ANNA TOVMASYAN, REBECCA MONK, Jennifer Eastwood, Ilona Sawicka, Derek Heim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

Abstract

COVID-19-related lockdown provided an opportunity to scrutinise alcohol consumption patterns in a historically unique context. This exploratory study examined how people’s thoughts during the day may be related to their drinking during confinement to their homes. Using ecological momentary assessment, 77 UK participants (61% female, Mage = 27.26) used their smartphones to respond to thrice-daily prompts, recording thoughts (in response to open-ended probes) and alcohol consumption over one-week during a period of strict lockdown in the UK. Thoughts were classified into nine categories (Work, Food, Leisure, Health, Self, Other, Past, Future, Miscellaneous) and exploratory analysis suggested that thinking about ways to spend leisure time was associated with decreased alcohol consumption, while thinking about alcohol was associated with decreased subsequent consumption. None of the other thought categories were related to alcohol consumption. Overall, findings indicate that thinking about ways to spend free time may be a protective factor against alcohol consumption.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDrugs: Education, Prevention and Policy
Early online date5 Sep 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Sep 2022

Keywords

  • alcohol consumption
  • momentary thoughts
  • thought probes
  • mind wandering
  • leisure
  • COVID-19
  • Ecological Momentary Assessment

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