Researchers examined alcohol use, binge drinking and other behaviors of Israeli university students, citing little data about alcohol use and related behavior in that group. They hypothesized that the discipline the women were studying (“helping” versus “non-helping” disciplines) would predict whether they’d engage in drinking and other activities. But they found few differences in the groups. The research team sampled 473 female undergraduates from a major university in Israel in 2015. Respondents included social work students, nursing students, and students from other disciplines including engineering and natural sciences. No men were included in the analysis. The 31-item Substance Use Survey Instrument (SUSI) was used to collect the data. Respondents ranged from 19 to 52 years old. Most were single and full-time students. Though they didn’t find that the area of study was associated with more or less alcohol use, the researchers did establish some changes over time when they compared the current study to one done at the same university 20 years prior. They saw a considerable rise of beer, wine and hard liquor consumption in those years. However, students today reported drinking and driving less frequently – 7.5 percent compared to 21 percent in 1996.
Take away: Women college students in Israel are reporting much more drinking than women at the same university 20 years ago, but drinking and driving is less prevalent. The area of study did not make a difference when it came to whether a female student was a drinker or binge drinker. Prevention and intervention specialists should consider the possibility that women are drinking more, and be aware that choice of study program does not appear to affect the likelihood a female student will drink.
Isralowitz R, Sarid O, Dagan A, Grinstein-Cohen O, Reznik A (2017) Alcohol Consumption among Female University Students in Israel: A Cross Sectional Study of Background Characteristics and Drinking Patterns, International Journal of Mental Health Addiction, 1-8