Faculty Publications

Title

Factors that predict self-perceived problem drinking among college students

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education

Volume

52

Issue

3

First Page

72

Last Page

88

Abstract

Excessive alcohol use among college students is a significant public health problem. In order to design and implement effective intervention programs, college personnel must first target students who are problem drinkers. This study of 316 Midwestern college students examines factors that predict whether a student self-identifies as a problem drinker. Although 42% of students indicated recent binge drinking episodes and 30% reported a regrettable sexual experience due to alcohol use, 80% indicated that their drinking is "not at all problematic." Students were more likely to identify themselves as problem drinkers if they consumed more drinks per week when compared to other students. Other statistically significant predictors of self-perceived problematic drinking were binge drinking, consuming alcohol without the company of others, having an alcohol-related arrest, and participating in regrettable sex due to alcohol use. Students reporting more depressive symptoms than other students were also more likely to identify as problem drinkers. Future research should consider additional variables when examining the complex processes students utilize in deciding whether their drinking is problematic.

Original Publication Date

12-1-2008

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