Benjamin Riordan

Benjamin Riordan
La Trobe University · Centre for Alcohol Policy Research

PhD

About

128
Publications
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801
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Publications

Publications (128)
Article
Full-text available
Orientation Week is a series of events at the beginning of the university year that introduces incoming students to university life. It is also the period of the academic year when students consume more alcohol than at any other time. Recently, we demonstrated that alcohol consumption during Orientation Week was related to alcohol consumption durin...
Article
Full-text available
Orientation Week is common at many universities throughout the world and is a way to introduce students to their new environment. Despite some benefits, Orientation Week is often typified by heavy alcohol use. Although typically viewed as a "onetime" event, the higher levels of drinking that students engage in during Orientation Week may persist in...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: The aim of Orientation Week is to help new students acclimatize to university life. However, Orientation Week is characterized by heavy alcohol use and during this time students may develop drinking patterns that persist into the academic year. The aim of the current study was to refine a brief Ecological Momentary Intervention (EMI) an...
Chapter
Full-text available
We often look at alcohol use as an average; simplifying data down to how many drinks an individual consumes during a typical week or month. Although an average is a good starting point, it provides little information on the way(s) individuals drink. For example, an average of 14 drinks per week may reflect an individual having a couple of drinks ea...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: To examine associations between Fear of Missing Out (FoMO), alcohol use, and negative alcohol-related consequences among college students. Participants: Participants were two samples of undergraduate students ages 18 – 25 (Study 1 n = 182; Study 2 n = 250). Methods: In both studies, participants completed the Fear of Missing Out Scale (F...
Article
Aims Recent studies have suggested that females respond more favourably to baclofen treatment for alcohol use disorder. Females are generally more likely to drink to regulate stress reactivity and negative affect. This study thus aimed to evaluate the role of sex on the effect of baclofen on the relationship between daily alcohol consumption, stres...
Article
Full-text available
New Zealand's Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, adopted a "go hard, go early" approach to eliminate COVID-19. Although Ardern and her Labour party are considered left-leaning, the policies implemented during the pandemic (e.g., police roadblocks) have the hallmarks of Right-Wing Authoritarianism (RWA). RWA is characterized by three attitudinal cluste...
Article
Full-text available
During the COVID-19 pandemic there have been marked changes in individuals' belief systems (e.g., support for lockdowns) as a result of the threat of COVID-19. In the current study, we investigated whether these belief systems change as a function of changes in the threat of COVID-19. Specifically, we conducted a longitudinal study, with authoritar...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The possibility of residual impairment of cognitive performance after multiday drinking sessions is particularly important given the potential for the deleterious effects of fatigue and hangover. This pilot study aimed to devise a methodology to compare sober performance on driving-relevant attentional tasks at the end of a 4-day music...
Article
Full-text available
Background Previous work has demonstrated that cannabis laws have had a disproportionate impact on Māori, the Indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand. In 2019, the New Zealand Government amended cannabis laws, providing police with the power to determine whether a therapeutic or health-centred approach would be more beneficial than a conviction....
Article
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The number of studies on mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic has exploded, but the majority are of poor quality and use cross-sectional designs. Of the few longitudinal studies conducted, the results are mixed and most fail to distinguish between data collected during versus after lockdown/stay-at-home orders. Given lockdown/stay-at home ord...
Article
It is not uncommon for conspiracy theories to have a political agenda, some conspiracies are more endorsed by the political left-wing than the political right-wing and vice-versa. Conspiracy theories quickly flourished as the COVID-19 pandemic emerged and this may have been an underlying factor in a reluctance by some in following public health pol...
Preprint
Introduction: Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in Aotearoa New Zealand, killing over 1,700 people each year. Despite the burden of lung cancer, a recent stuff.co.nz article called lung cancer deaths ‘the cancer disgrace that no-one-talks about’. When asked about this Professor Ross Lawrenson hypothesized that the low survival rate m...
Article
Background Considerable variation exists in the extent to which alcohol-related consequences are evaluated as positive or negative. These evaluations, in turn, predict subsequent drinking behavior. Understanding the etiological pathways to positive and negative alcohol-related consequences is essential to the design of interventions aimed at reduci...
Presentation
Full-text available
What are undergraduate students' experiences learning about and being involved in suicide-related content and discussions? This talk discusses the reflections of third year undergraduate psychology students who engaged with suicide-related content as part of their class-based activities.
Presentation
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Introduction and Aims: For new students, the transition from high school to university is a period associated with significant changes and uncertainty. Unfortunately, the early transition (particularly Orientation Week) is also associated with increased alcohol use and harm. Web-based Interventions (WBIs) and Ecological Momentary Interventions (EMI...
Preprint
Background: Previous work has demonstrated that cannabis laws have had a disproportionate impact on Māori, the Indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand. In an attempt to address this bias, the New Zealand Government amended cannabis laws in 2019, providing police with the power to determine whether a health-centred approach would be more beneficia...
Article
Summary of recommendations and levels of evidence Chapter 2: Screening and assessment for unhealthy alcohol use Screening • Screening for unhealthy alcohol use and appropriate interventions should be implemented in general practice (Level A), hospitals (Level B), emergency departments and community health and welfare settings (Level C). • Quantit...
Preprint
In a recent tweet, Auckland City Councillor Efeso Collins asked Television New Zealand (TVNZ) to drop Police Ten 7, arguing that it “…feeds on racial stereotypes”. Both the Chief Executive of the company behind Police Ten 7, and a former host, defended the show by suggesting that it provides an accurate portrayal of crime in Aotearoa New Zealand. I...
Article
Full-text available
A central hypothesis of the Interpersonal Psychological Theory of Suicide is that thwarted belonging, perceived burdensomeness, and fearlessness about death interact to predict greater risk of suicide. The current study sought to address the limited research addressing this interaction within university students. Undergraduate students (n = 377) we...
Article
Background Alcohol use varies throughout the year and often peaks on weekends or during celebrations (e.g., New Year’s). There is not a perfect correlation between alcohol use and negative consequences, and the extent to which one particularly risky consequence—an alcohol-related blackout—is more common during certain times of the year is unknown....
Article
Objectives: Our aim was to determine whether alcohol hangover is associated with eating unhealthy foods (hot chips, soft drink) or healthy foods (fruit, vegetables). Design: Daily diary study across 13 days (micro-longitudinal design). Methods: We examined a sample of 605 young adults (71% women; ages 17-25; mean age 19.91 [SD 1.86] years) who...
Article
Social networking site (SNS) use is common and speculation about the negative impact of SNS use on mental health and psychological well-being is a recurring theme in scientific debates. The evidence for this link, however, is inconclusive. The Fear of Missing Out (FoMO) may assist in understanding the mixed evidence, as individuals who experience F...
Article
One-third to half of emerging adult drinkers report experiencing alcohol-induced blackouts in the past year, and blackouts increase the risk for negative consequences. Qualitative methods provide valuable tools for scientific inquiry, allowing for in-depth understanding of lived experiences. The goal of the present study was to gain insight into em...
Article
Full-text available
The Fear of Missing Out (FoMO) is the feeling that one is missing out on rewarding experiences. FoMO research has largely focused on the link between FoMO and unhealthy social networking use, but FoMO may have implications for other behaviours. In two studies, we aimed to determine whether FoMO was related to alcohol use during a period associated...
Article
Full-text available
Conspiracy theories quickly flourished as the COVID-19 pandemic emerged and this may have been an underlying factor for some individuals in their reluctance to adhere to lockdown policies. In the present study, we surveyed a community sample of 1358 adults just prior to the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Aotearoa New Zealand. Our results supported tha...
Preprint
Full-text available
New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, adopted a “go hard, go early” approach to eliminate COVID-19. Although she and her Labour party are considered left-leaning, the policies implemented during the pandemic (e.g., police road blocks) have the hallmarks of Right-Wing Authoritarianism (RWA). RWA is characterised by three attitudinal clusters...
Article
Full-text available
A neuroessentialist perspective holds that mental illness is the result of brain dysfunction. Unfortunately, essentialist beliefs promote the view that people with a mental illness are fundamentally different to people without a mental illness. This identification of difference, in turn, increases mental illness stigma. The primary aim of the curre...
Article
As social media use has increased in prevalence, so have concerns that social media may be detrimental to mental health and wellbeing. The primary aim of the current study was to investigate whether limiting social media use leads to increases in wellbeing. A secondary aim was to assess whether sleep quality contributed to the hypothesized relation...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Objective: Preliminary reports suggested that liquor retailers used COVID-19 to promote alcohol through sponsored posts on Facebook and Instagram. To further understand the advertising practices during this period, we aimed to determine whether packaged liquor retailers increased their posts during COVID-19 or used COVID-19 to promote alco...
Article
Twitter provides a real-time venue for monitoring alcohol consumption and negative alcohol-related consequences. “Blackouts,” defined as events involving alcohol-induced amnesia, are commonly endorsed among social drinkers. However, the term “blackout” has been used in popular culture to describe being intoxicated. Objective We qualitatively exami...
Article
Full-text available
Journal editorials, career features, and the popular press, commonly talk of a graduate student mental health crisis. To date, studies on graduate student mental health have employed cross-sectional designs, limiting any causal conclusions regarding the relationship between entry into graduate study and mental health. Here, we draw on data from a l...
Article
Background New Zealand held a referendum on the legalisation of recreational cannabis in October 2020. Polls preceding the referendum provided contrasting outcomes. We investigated whether internet search data from Google Trends could provide an alternative estimate of the referendum outcome. Methods We assessed various methods for accessing Googl...
Preprint
AimsOur aim was to determine whether alcohol hangover is associated with eating unhealthy foods (hot chips, soft drink) or healthy foods (fruit, vegetables). DesignDaily diary study across 13 days (micro-longitudinal design)SettingA sample of young adults completed daily diaries in the university community. Participants605 young adults (71% women;...
Article
Full-text available
With the emergence of ideation to action frameworks, contemporary models of suicide recognise that the factors associated with the emergence of suicidal ideation are distinct from those associated with action (i.e., an attempt). While these theories have meaningfully advanced our understanding of suicide, each one argues that different factors are...
Article
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Inflammation is commonly implicated in sustained levels of depressed mood, chiefly with concurrent measures. There is a dearth of research on understanding how mood-inflammation relationships change on a day-to-day timescale. Determining how inflammation and mood may fluctuate and interact with each other is imperative to determining which pathways...
Article
Despite a growing understanding of the triggers for suicidal thoughts and behavior, little is known about the mechanisms that prevent people from killing themselves. The goal of the present study was to use publicly available Reddit data to better understand the reasons that people give for not following through with a potentially lethal suicide at...
Article
Introduction The ability to accurately detect alcohol intoxication is an important skill for people who use these substances and for a variety of professions (e.g. policing, responsible service of alcohol). Previous studies have found that intoxicated people are generally poor at estimating their own intoxication (particularly at high blood alcohol...
Preprint
Journal editorials, career features, and the popular press, commonly talk of a graduate student mental health crisis. To date, studies on graduate student mental health have employed cross-sectional designs, limiting any causal conclusions regarding the relationship between graduate student and mental health. Here, we present the first longitudinal...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Risk behaviors for young adults such as alcohol use are associated with increased risk of morbidity and mortality. Patterns of risk behavior may be genetically determined and vary between genders. Previous studies in both young adults and heavy drinking adult samples have demonstrated that some genotypes, such as OPRM1 A118G, COMT Val15...
Presentation
Full-text available
Although the potential triggers for suicidal thoughts and behaviours have been well-documented throughout the literature, there is a paucity of research regarding the proximal factors that may stop an individual from engaging in a potentially lethal suicide attempt. Using publicly available data on Reddit, we sought to better understand the reasons...
Presentation
Full-text available
Introduction and Aims: Suicide is a growing health concern in Australia and substance use may play an important role. Using wave two data from Ten to Men: The Australian Longitudinal Study on Male Health, we examined whether different substance use behaviours are related to suicidality (and whether alcohol use mediates the link between ideation and...
Presentation
Full-text available
Recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1C_qSezL8e0&feature=youtu.be Abstract: In October 2020, New Zealanders will vote on whether cannabis should be legalised for recreational use. With this in mind, the aim of the present study is to gauge the views and opinions of the New Zealand population on cannabis via tweets. To achieve this, we conduc...
Preprint
Full-text available
Aims. Quantifying differences between minority and majority groups, such as sexual minorities (SM) and heterosexuals, is difficult due to small sample sizes. Bayesian analyses is one solution to addressing small sample sizes in minority group research, whereby previous research can be used to inform our models. In the present tutorial, we offered a...
Article
Introduction and aims: COVID-19, considered a pandemic by the World Health Organization, overwhelmed hospitals in the USA. In parallel to the growing pandemic, alcohol sales grew in the USA, with people stockpiling alcohol. Alcohol-induced blackouts are one particularly concerning consequence of heavy drinking, and the extent to which blackout pre...
Article
Introduction and aims: In October 2020, New Zealanders will vote on whether cannabis should be legalised for recreational use. With this in mind, the aim of the present study is to gauge the views and opinions of the New Zealand population on cannabis via tweets. To achieve this, we conducted a sentiment analysis of all historic cannabis-related t...
Preprint
Full-text available
Abstract In substance use treatment settings, there is a high prevalence of comorbid mental health problems. Yet an integrated approach for managing comorbidity, implementation of evidence-based intervention in drug and alcohol settings remains problematic. Technology can help the adoption of evidence-based practice and successfully implement effe...
Presentation
Full-text available
A central hypothesis of the Interpersonal Model of Suicide is that thwarted belonging, perceived burdensomeness, and fearlessness about death interact to predict greater risk of suicide. The current study sought to address the limited research addressing this interaction within university students. Undergraduate students (n=377) were required to co...
Presentation
Full-text available
Recorded presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sn_8qSuQBuY Abstract: At the time of writing (August 20, 2020) the total number of novel coronavirus-2019 (COVID-19) cases is over 22 million worldwide, with over 750,000 deaths (Worldometers 2020). Worldometers (2020) is just one of several websites offering close to real-time updates on COV...
Article
Full-text available
The Fear of Missing Out (FoMO) is the sense that others are having a rewarding experience which one is absent from. Given that it is associated with the drive to remain socially connected, research has predominantly focused on the link between FoMO and social networking use. While a 10-item measure of FoMO is widely used (FoMOs), a shorter scale ma...
Experiment Findings
We are tracking the sentiment of Tweets written in the lead up to New Zealand's cannabis referendum. Follow along at: https://abcd-lab.shinyapps.io/cannabis_sentiment/
Article
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic has many individuals around the world fearing for their lives. The constant news coverage, rapid transmission, and relatively high mortality rate, make fearful-ness a natural response. To assess the fear of COVID-19, the Fear of COVID-19 Scale (FCV-19S) was developed. The primary aim of the present study was to conduct the fir...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has many individuals around the world fearing for their lives. The constant news coverage, rapid transmission,and relatively high mortality rate,make fearfulness a natural response. To assess the fear of COVID-19, the Fear of COVID-19 Scale (FCV-19S)was developed. The primary aim of the present study is to conduct...
Preprint
Introduction and Aims: The ability to accurately detect alcohol or other drug intoxication is an important skill for people who use these substances and for a variety of professions (e.g., policing, responsible service of alcohol). Previous studies have found that intoxicated people are generally poor at estimating their own level of intoxication (...
Poster
Full-text available
A total of 20 clinicians from three NSW Health drug and alcohol services We developed a tailored portal that contained a range of web-based resources related to the evidence-based treatment of comorbid mental health and substance use disorders (www.pccportal.org.au). This study sought to explore the facilitators and barriers of the utilisation of t...
Article
Objective and Design: In a pragmatic, randomised, waitlist-controlled trial we tracked 250 first-year university students who were randomly assigned to 3 months of a mindfulness meditation app (Headspace) to use at their discretion in either semester 1 (intervention, n = 124) or semester 2 (waitlist, n = 126). Main Outcome Measures: Students report...
Presentation
Full-text available
Analysing content from an online support group for those aiming to /r/Stopdrinking.
Article
Alcohol-induced memory loss (i.e., blackout) is a consequence of drinking that is both common and associated with additional negative outcomes. The goal of the present study was to use publicly available Twitter data to better understand cognitions and emotions following blackouts. Tweets containing key terms (e.g., “black out”) were collected over...
Presentation
Full-text available
Adherence is an important predictor of intervention outcomes, but not all measures of adherence are created equally. Self-report can be plagued by recall and response biases; using daily diary designs to measure compliance should reduce recall biases; but are they as good as objective measures of compliance? Here, we analysed whether there was a di...