Friends are Unreliable Sources for Drinking Study

Dr. Michael FendMichael Fendrich, PhDrich's research was featured in the inaugural issue of the UConn Health Journal

In recent years, researchers have turned to friends of people in alcohol studies to verify what the subjects report about their drinking habits. People in the same social situations are sought out, in part, because of the inherent impairment caused by alcohol. But according to a UConn study published in Addictive Behaviors, friends don’t seem to provide any new information. In fact, they typically underreport what their acquaintances consume. The finding supports the so-called “protective effect” of friends described in other research. A growing availability of other evidence – hair and fingernail samples, for example – may provide better strategy for corroborating the amount of alcohol study subjects consume, says author Michael Fendrich, associate dean of the School of Social Work.

UConn Health Journal

Dr. Fendrich Faculty Profile

The utility of collateral student drinking reports (PDF of article)