The relationship between daily fluctuations in inhibitory control and binge drinking
Deficient inhibitory control has been implicated in the development and maintenance of alcohol abuse behaviours. Nonetheless, evidence regarding the relationship between inhibitory control and binge alcohol consumption is mixed. Moreover, there is a dearth of research examining inhibitory control and binge drinking at the within-subject level. Using ecological momentary assessment methods, the present study implemented an intensive longitudinal design to assess daily fluctuations in inhibitory control and alcohol use in university students. For 14-days, participants (N = 54) were required to use two smartphone applications to complete a Stop-Signal task and record alcohol consumption. A multilevel model was specified wherein it was hypothesised that daily fluctuations in inhibitory control would predict binge drinking and total alcohol consumption at the within- and between-individual level. Contrary to our hypotheses, within-individual variation in stop-signal reaction time was not found to predict binge drinking and total alcohol consumption. Similarly, between- subject variation in stop-signal reaction time did not predict binge drinking nor total alcohol consumed. Irrespective of the current findings, this research is preliminary and raises a number of implications for prospective ecological investigations into the cognitive antecedents of substance misuse. The feasibility of the present design will be addressed together with limitations and future directions.