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Negative Alcohol-Related Consequences Experienced by Young Adults in the Past 12 Months: Differences by College Attendance, Living Situation, Binge Drinking, and Sex

Studies show over and over that alcohol use is prevalent in young adulthood. The current study attempts to examine estimates of negative alcohol use consequences by college attendance, living situation, binge drinking, and sex. The goal is to see if there are associations between college attendance and possible interactions of college attendance with living situation, binge drinking and sex regarding consequence associations.

The study group included 12th grade students (age 18) from Monitoring the Future (MTF) that were followed into college. The final sample included 1,068 respondents. They gathered information about college attendance at age 19/20, living situation at age 19/20, binge drinking at age 19/20 and sex at age 18. They also asked participants about alcohol consequences and demographics. Results showed that 48% attended a 4-year college and 54% lived either off campus or on campus without parents. 44% of participants reported binge drinking. Half of drinkers reported negative alcohol use consequences and the most commonly-reported was behavior later regretted.

Researchers found that 4-year college students reported significantly more negative consequences than non-attenders and 2-year/vocational/technical students. However, two-year/vocational/technical students reported more unsafe driving. Negative consequences were significantly higher for binge drinkers. The only sex differences found was women reported higher instances of emotional/physical consequences. This information is important when providing interventions to young adults by knowing the differences experiences by students varying in college attendance, living situation, binge drinking, and sex. It may be important to education students at 2-year/vocational/ technical schools about risks of unsafe driving.

Take Away: The current study attempts to examine estimates of negative alcohol use consequences by college attendance, living situation, binge drinking, and sex. The goal was to also see the associations between consequences and these factors. Students were recruited from the Monitoring the Future (MTF) and the final sample included 1,068 respondents. Results showed that 48% of participants attended a 4-year college and these students reported significantly more negative consequences. Two-year/vocational/ technical students reported more unsafe driving. This information is important when providing information and interventions to young adults by knowing the differences in college attendance, living situation, binge drinking, and sex.

Patrick, M. E., Terry-Mcelrath, Y. M., Evans-Polce, R. J., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2020). Negative alcohol-related consequences experienced by young adults in the past 12 months: Differences by college attendance, living situation, binge drinking, and sex. Addictive Behaviors, 105, 106320. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2020.106320

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