Value-based decision-making predicts alcohol use and related problems in young men

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftForschungsartikelBeigetragenBegutachtung



Background: Alcohol consumption is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, disproportionately affecting young men. Heavy episodic drinking is particularly prevalent among men, with this behavior peaking between the ages of 20 and 24. Aims: We sought to identify dimensions of decision-making in men that would predict the development of hazardous alcohol use through emerging adulthood. Methods: This prospective observational study profiled value-based decision-making in 198 healthy men at age 18 and assessed their alcohol involvement annually until age 24. Latent growth curve modeling estimated individual variability in trajectories of alcohol involvement and regressed this variability on five choice dimensions. Results: Low loss aversion predicted sustained heavy episodic drinking from age 18 to 24. Both high delay discounting and risk-seeking for gains independently predicted a considerably higher cumulative alcohol use during these 6 years, with high delay discounting indicating escalating consumption from age 21. Risk-seeking for gains additionally predicted meeting more criteria for Alcohol Use Disorder in these 6 years. Risk-seeking for losses was not significantly related to alcohol outcomes. Choice preferences were largely independent of each other but were correlated with choice consistency, with low consistency predicting heavy episodic drinking from age 18 to 24 beyond these associations. Conclusions: The predictive effects collectively suggest that overvaluing immediate and probabilistic incentives, rather than underestimating harm, drives hazardous drinking in young men. The differential relations of choice preferences and consistency to alcohol involvement through emerging adulthood provide distinct cognitive-behavioral patterns that warrant consideration in the development of harm reduction interventions.


Seiten (von - bis)1218-1226
FachzeitschriftJournal of psychopharmacology
Frühes Online-Datum23 Nov. 2023
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - Dez. 2023

Externe IDs

ORCID /0000-0003-4163-9014/work/148145670
PubMed 37994802
ORCID /0000-0001-5398-5569/work/150329541


Ziele für nachhaltige Entwicklung


  • Delay discounting, alcohol use disorder, binge drinking, loss aversion, probability discounting, Prospective Studies, Ethanol, Humans, Male, Young Adult, Alcoholism/epidemiology, Adolescent, Adult, Alcohol Drinking/adverse effects