Friday, January 17, 2020
US flag

Not all college students binge drink

Editor’s Note: Voxitatis reported last week that a Stanford University football player was allowed to participate in the Sun Bowl game despite having been accused of sexual assault, while he was drunk, of a female student, who was also drunk. He was found by a university board to be not responsible for his behavior.

This led to my argument that it is just as naïve for college students to think that nothing bad will happen to them if they get drunk as it is to think that college students aren’t going to drink. In other words, if I am forced to believe that college students are going to get drunk, they have to believe that bad things are more likely to happen to them, like nonconsensual sex and other crimes, if they do.

New research shows that not all college students get drunk or engage in binge drinking. I can personally confirm that not every college student gets drunk while attending college and not every college student engages in binge drinking.

Research is published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

College matriculation is often associated with increases in the frequency and intensity of drinking. This study used a national sample to examine the association between being a college student and changes in excessive drinking from late adolescence through young adulthood and whether students’ residing with their parents during the school year affected the association.

Researchers analyzed data from the National Epidemiologic Study on Alcohol and Related Conditions for 8,645 non-high school young adults aged 18 to 30 years.

Excessive drinking in the past year was defined for men as at least 10 standard drinks per occasion and for women as at least 8 standard drinks per occasion. Exceeding weekly drinking guidelines was defined as more than 14 drinks per week for men and more than 7 drinks per week for women.

Students who resided away from their parents and students who lived with their parents during the school year were compared to non-students.

Results showed that being a student is not a universal risk factor for excessive drinking across the ages of 18 to 30 years.

While being a student was associated with excessive drinking, this was true only at certain ages and for certain student groups: for example, during the traditional college ages of the early 20s and for those students living away from home.

The authors speculate that it may not necessarily be student status that is related to increased odds of excessive drinking during the early 20s, but rather an absence of demands associated with commitments such as full-time employment, marriage, and parenthood.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

Recent posts

Feds boost Bay funding

Restoration efforts in the Chesapeake Bay watershed received a boost in federal funding in the budget Congress passed last month.

Md. & IL bands perform on New Year’s in...

Bands from IL and Md. once again entertained thousands of people who lined the streets of London and Rome on New Year's Day.

Howard Co. sounds an under-staffing alarm

Teachers in a Md. district have filed a grievance over missing planning and lunch periods and, as a result, putting the most vulnerable students at risk.

Top 11 school stories of 2019

We find these 11 stories to have the greatest potential for influencing activity and direction in schools for the near future.

Girls’ volleyball champs in Illinois

We congratulate the Illinois state champions in girls' volleyball: Newark, St Teresa, Sterling, & Benet Academy.

A weekend of ‘band geeks’ across America

The musical Band Geeks was in performance at a MD high school, just as marching bands from across America named a national champion.

2 dead, 3 wounded in Calif. school shooting

Another school shooting has resulted in the death of 2 California high school students. The suspect shot himself and is in custody.

Mercury makes a transit; next in 2032

A transit of Mercury occurred today and was visible from the US, provided you had sunny skies. It was one of longest possible transits.

On the Naperville BWW racist incident

A racist incident at a Naperville, IL, sports bar indicates that the threads of racism are strong, perhaps as strong as ever.

IL bill could excuse absences to vote

A proposed law in IL could give students up to two hours during the school day so they could vote in the upcoming election.

Loan forgiveness gains some bipartisan support

One Republican from GA, who used to work under Betsy DeVos at the US Education Dept, offers a plan to forgive some student loan debt.