Screening services for alcohol misuse and abuse at four-year colleges in the U.S.

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16 Scopus citations


We examine the prevalence of screening for student alcohol misuse/abuse among 333 U.S. colleges via a survey of campus leaders. We also use latent class modeling to identify classes of colleges based on screening practices. We found that most colleges conduct screening after a student is involved in an alcohol-related incident, and about 50% of colleges screen students at regular health care visits. Legal, health care, and housing staff are trained in screening at nearly all colleges; other key personnel were trained at about one third of colleges. We identified four classes of colleges: 62% of colleges fit in a class that had many screening components in place, 9% in a class with very limited services, and the remainder (29%) fit in 2 middle classes. Although most colleges had many alcohol misuse/abuse screening components in place, more than one third show need for improvement in how, where, and when screening is conducted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)352-358
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported with a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (63118; T. Toomey, principal investigator). We thank Mary Larimer, Edward Ehlinger, Dana Farley, Dave Golden, and Corie Beckerman for assistance in survey development and testing, and we thank all campus leaders who participated in the survey. We also thank Brittany Hildebrandt for assisting with data collectionand William Baker for assisting with data managementand measurement development. A limited portion of this article was presented at the Annual Meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism (San Antonio, TX; June 2010) and at the Alcohol Policy 15 Conference (Washington DC; December 2010).


  • Alcohol abuse
  • College
  • Latent class
  • Screening


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