Differential prevalence of alcohol use among 2-year and 4-year college students

Cayley E. Velazquez, Keryn E. Pasch, Melissa N. Laska, Katherine Lust, Mary Story, Edward P. Ehlinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: To determine whether alcohol use behaviors and alcohol-related consequences differed among students attending two-year versus four-year colleges. Methods: Participants (N = 13,700) from 7 two-year and 11 four-year colleges completed the 2010 College Student Health Survey. Alcohol use behaviors included past year alcohol use, past month alcohol use, and binge drinking over the past two weeks. Alcohol-related factors included average calculated blood alcohol level and average number of alcohol-related consequences. Cross-sectional mixed-effects regression analyses were conducted to determine if the prevalence of alcohol-related behaviors and consequences differed among two-year and four-year students. Results: Students attending four-year colleges, particularly males, were more likely to report past year alcohol use, past month alcohol use, and binge drinking, as well as a higher average blood alcohol content and a greater number of alcohol-related consequences than their two-year counterparts (p < 0.05). Among female students there were fewer differences between two-year and four-year college students. Many differences remained after adjusting for socio-demographic factors (e.g., age, race/ethnicity), however, with the addition of living situation as a covariate, several of the differences among males were no longer significant. Conclusions: Significant differences in alcohol-related behaviors and consequences exist among students attending two-year versus four-year colleges. While the prevalence of alcohol-related behaviors and consequences was lower among two-year college students, they are not a population to be over-looked. The prevalence of alcohol use remains high among both two-year and four-year college students, making it important for researchers to design appropriate interventions for all students regardless of the type of institution being attended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1353-1356
Number of pages4
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Volume36
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Partial funding was provided by a 2008 congressionally directed grant award to the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (P116Z080299). The U.S. Department of Education had no role in the study design, collection, analysis or interpretation of the data, writing the manuscript, or the decision to submit the paper for publication. The results do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education nor imply endorsement by the federal government. Additional salary support for Dr. Laska was provided by National Cancer Institute Award K07CA126837. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the National Cancer Institute.

Keywords

  • Alcohol use
  • College youth
  • Emerging adulthood

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