What is it about?

By collecting daily data from 236 college students for 60 consecutive days, we found that neither drinking more alcohol than one usually drinks on a given day, nor higher average alcohol use across the 60-day time period, associated with college students’ subsequent cyber partner abuse perpetration. Rather, cyber partner abuse perpetration odds increased as the number of drinks consumed on a given day increased, regardless of whether drinking occurred before or after cyber partner abuse. Cyber partner abuse may confer risk for subsequent alcohol use rather than alcohol use conferring risk for subsequent cyber partner abuse.

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Why is it important?

This is the first daily diary study of alcohol and cyber partner abuse perpetration. Results contradict prior cross-sectional research which suggested that alcohol use may relate to more frequent cyber partner abuse perpetration. Although alcohol use history may associate with cyber partner abuse, alcohol use does not appear to be a proximal risk factor for cyber partner abuse.


This article points to considerations for college partner abuse prevention and intervention. Alcohol use may not be the most important risk factor to target when aiming to reduce cyber partner abuse. Alcohol-related partner abuse theories may not generalize to cyber partner abuse, calling for a need to better understand the proximal risk factors for this form of partner abuse. Future investigations should consider whether cyber partner abuse confers risk for college students’ alcohol use.

Meagan Brem
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Proximal associations among college students’ alcohol use and cyber partner abuse perpetration., Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, February 2022, American Psychological Association (APA), DOI: 10.1037/adb0000818.
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