Environmental policies to reduce college drinking: options and research findings.

Traci L Toomey, Alexander C. Wagenaar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: The goal of this article is to provide an overview of environmental strategies that may reduce college drinking. Drinking behavior is influenced by many environmental factors, including messages in the media, community norms and attitudes, public and institutional policies and practices and economic factors. College student drinking may be influenced by environmental factors on and off campus. METHOD: A comprehensive search of MEDLINE, ETOH, Current Contents and Social Science Abstracts databases was conducted to identify research studies evaluating effects of environmental strategies on college and general populations. RESULTS: The identified environmental strategies fall into four categories: (1) increasing compliance with minimum legal drinking age laws, (2) reducing consumption and risky alcohol use, (3) decreasing specific types of alcohol-related problems and (4) de-emphasizing the role of alcohol on campus and promoting academics and citizenship. Although the extant research indicates that many environmental strategies are promising for reducing alcohol-related problems among the general population, few of these strategies have been evaluated for effects on the college population. CONCLUSIONS: Further research is needed to evaluate effects of alcohol control policies on alcohol consumption and its related problems among college students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-205
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of studies on alcohol. Supplement
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002


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