Binge drinking in early adulthood: A machine learning approach

Nathaniel A. Dell, Sweta Prasad Srivastava, Michael G. Vaughn, Christopher Salas-Wright, Audrey Hang Hai, Zhengmin Qian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Binge drinking among young adults (18–25) has been recognized as a public health concern. Considerable variation among drinking behaviors have been found among this group. Several statistical methods are available to identify theoretically and empirically meaningful correlates of binge drinking. The present study evaluated three methods for identifying correlates of binge drinking, comparing logistic regression to two machine learning methods—classification tress and random forests. While each model identified similar correlates of binge drinking—such as propensity for engaging in risky behaviors, marijuana dependence, cocaine dependence, identifying as non-Hispanic white, and higher education—the AUC analysis showed that the random forest analysis more accurately classified positive cases of binge drinking. Random forests modelling of psychosocial data is a feasible approach for identifying correlates of binge drinking behaviors among young adults. Clinical implications are discussed related to screening for binge drinking in behavioral health organizations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107122
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jan

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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