Using the Elaboration Likelihood Model to Address Drunkorexia among College Students

Tavis Glassman, Peter Paprzycki, Thomas Castor, Amy Wotring, Victoria Wagner-Greene, Matthew Ritzman, Aaron J. Diehr, Jessica Kruger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: The many consequences related to alcohol consumption among college students are well documented. Drunkorexia, a relatively new term and area of research, is characterized by skipping meals to reduce caloric intake and/or exercising excessively in attempt to compensate for calories associated with high volume drinking. Objective: The objective of this study was to use the Elaboration Likelihood Model to compare the impact of central and peripheral prevention messages on alcohol consumption and drunkorexic behavior. Methods: Researchers employed a quasi-experimental design, collecting pre- or post-test data from 172 college students living in residence halls at a large Midwestern university, to assess the impact of the prevention messages. Participants in the treatment groups received the message in person (flyer), through email, and via a text message in weekly increments. Results: Results showed that participants exposed to the peripherally framed message decreased the frequency of their alcohol consumption over a 30-day period (p =.003), the number of drinks they consumed the last time they drank (p =.029), the frequency they had more than five drinks over a 30-day period (p =.019), as well as the maximum number of drinks they had on any occasion in the past 30 days (p =.014). Conclusions/Importance: While more research is needed in this area, the findings from this study indicate that researchers and practitioners should design peripheral (short and succinct), rather than central (complex and detailed), messages to prevent drunkorexia and its associated behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1411-1418
Number of pages8
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jul 29 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Alcohol
  • college students
  • drunkorexia
  • high-risk drinking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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