Study Reveals College Student Drinking Patterns

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It’s accepted that part of college life involves partying, usually with copious amounts of alcohol. But a new study shows that not all college students are drinking the same way. In particular, those who live off campus are much more likely to host parties where alcohol is overused.

Researchers gathered data from 3,796 students using an online survey over two academic years. What they found implies that living off campus and having more resources means that when you host a party, you are more likely to serve more alcohol and allow guests to get drunker.

This is important for a few reasons. The first is that it illustrates how the host of a party influences the type of event it will be. On campus parties are much less likely to have excessive alcohol. It also shows that off campus, hosts are more permissive. The researchers assumed that those living off campus had higher financial resources as well – meaning they could purchase more alcoholic beverages for their guests. Finally, off campus parties are attended by more drivers, increasing the risk of a drunk driving incident after the event.

College drinking is a concern for academic authorities, not only because of the damage alcohol causes, but because they may be liable when students are allowed to over imbibe. With the information in this study, they will be better equipped to combat excessive drinking in the student population.

Some other results from the survey:
• 12 percent of respondents had hosted a party – higher than researchers expected.
• The “party breakdown” was 20% on campus and 80% off campus.
• Party-goers numbered between 25 and 60.
• Hosts usually drank more than attendees, with 9 drinks average for hosts and 7.5 drinks on average for guests.
• For some students, the number of drinks consumed went as high as 30.

More on this research can be found here.

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