Investigating associations between perceived parental alcohol-related messages and college student drinking.
Abar CC; Morgan NR; Small ML; Maggs JL. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs 73(1): 71-79, 2012. (59 refs.)
Objective: A debate remains regarding whether parents should teach their children harm-reduction tips for using alcohol while in college or whether they should maintain a zero-tolerance policy. Which type of alcohol-related communication parents should endorse is not empirically clear. The current study made use of a longitudinal measurement-burst design to examine this issue. Method: The sample consisted of 585 second-year students from a large university in the northeastern United States. Participants completed a baseline survey and 14 daily web-based surveys. Students were assessed for perceptions of parental alcohol-related messages and their own alcohol use. Multilevel models were estimated using HLM 6.04. Results: The data indicate that zero-tolerance messages appeared most protective against alcohol use and consequences. Harm-reduction messages were most risky, even when compared with mixed messages or the absence of a message. Conclusions: Findings indicate that a zero-tolerance approach was associated with safer outcomes than other messages, even if students were already using alcohol. Copyright 2012, Alcohol Research Documentation.
Partying before the party gets started: The effects of descriptive norms on pregaming behavior.
Burger JM; LaSalvia CT; Hendricks LA; Mehdipour T; Neudeck EM. Basic and Applied Social Psychology 33(3): 220-227, 2011. (22 refs.)
Pregaming (consuming several alcoholic drinks prior to going to a bar or party) has become a common practice on many college campuses. We propose that students often rely on descriptive norms when making decisions about pregaming. In Study 1, we provided undergraduate students with norm information indicating that relatively few college students regularly engage in pregaming behavior. Female students receiving this information engaged in pregaming significantly less often the following week than female students who received no norm information. The rate of pregaming among male students was not affected by the norm information. The effect of norm information on pregaming was replicated in Study 2 using only female students. In addition, providing information about gender-specific norms had a greater impact on pregaming behavior than presenting norm data for the general student body only. The findings indicate that descriptive norms play an important role in pregaming behavior and suggest avenues for intervention programs. Copyright 2011, Taylor & Francis.
Prevalence, frequency, and initiation of hookah tobacco smoking among first-year female college students: A one-year longitudinal study.
Fielder RL; Carey KB; Carey MP. Addictive Behaviors 37(2): 221-224, 2012. (16 refs.)
Hookah tobacco smoking has become increasingly prevalent among college students, but little is known about frequency of use or patterns of use over time, including during the transition to college. The goals of this longitudinal cohort study were to assess the: (a) lifetime prevalence, (b) current prevalence, (c) frequency of use, and (d) pattern of initiation of hookah tobacco smoking among female students during the first year of college. First-year female college students (N=483) at a large private university in upstate New York completed 13 monthly online surveys about their hookah tobacco use from August 2009 to August 2010. Lifetime prevalence of hookah use increased from 29% at college entry to 45% at one-year follow-up. The highest rates of hookah initiation occurred in the first two months of students' first semester of college. Current (past 30 days) hookah use ranged from 5% to 13% during the year after college entry. On average, hookah users reported smoking hookah two days per month. Hookah tobacco use is common among female college students. The transition to college is a vulnerable time for hookah initiation. Preventive efforts should begin in high school and continue through college, with a focus on students' first few months on campus. Copyright 2012, Elsevier Science.
Characteristics and predictors of health problems from use among high-frequency cannabis users in a Canadian university student population.
Fischer B; Dawe M; Mcguire F; Shuper PA; Jones W; Rudzinski K et al. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy 19(1): 49-58, 2012. (68 refs.)
Aims: Assess key cannabis use, risk and outcome characteristics among high-frequency cannabis users within a university student sample in Toronto, Canada. Methods: N = 134 active universities students (ages of 18-28) using cannabis at least three times per week were recruited by mass advertisement, telephone-screened and anonymously assessed by an interviewer-administered questionnaire. Relevant descriptive statistics are presented; subsequent univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses (MLRA) identified independent predictors of experiencing physical or mental health problems. Findings: The majority of respondents used cannabis >5 years, almost daily and >1 times/day, socially and medically on occasion. In past 30 days, 79% used cannabis by deep inhalation, 38% drove a car after use, 45% had difficulty controlling or limiting use and 52% experienced negative mental/physical health effects, with few respondents reporting any past treatment. The MLRA identified 'difficulty controlling or limiting use' (OR = 3.40, 95% CI = 1.58-7.30), 'non-white ethnicity' (OR = 2.78, 95% CI = 1.13-6.83), and 'living with others' (OR = 2.37, 95% CI = 1.02-5.55) as independent predictors (p < 0.01) of negative health problems. Conclusions: Our sample was characterized by several use-related risks and problems, which may result in long-term burden of disease. University environment may offer suitable settings for targeted interventions. Determinants of future cannabis use and problems should be assessed in this population. Copyright 2012, Informa Healthcare.
How drunk am I? Misperceiving one's level of intoxication in the college drinking environment.
Grant S; LaBrie JW; Hummer JF; Lac A. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors 26(1): 51-58, 2012. (45 refs.)
One effective event-level index that can assist in identifying risky intoxication levels among college students is blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Despite widespread exposure to BAC information, doubt exists as to whether American college students can accurately estimate their own BAC level or drinking behaviors while intoxicated. This study assessed whether students can accurately guesstimate their BAC level and drinking behaviors used to estimate BAC (eBAC) while drinking in social college settings. Participants (N = 225; 56.4% male) consisted of emerging adults attending either a 2- or 4-year college who had at least one alcoholic drink within the 2 hr before assessment. Participants were approached at night when returning from parties and/or alcohol-serving establishments. They completed an initial questionnaire, gave a breath sample to assess breath alcohol content, and then completed an online follow-up questionnaire within 48 hr of baseline assessment. Participants at lower levels of intoxication tended to slightly overestimate their BAC level, while those at higher levels tended to markedly underestimate their BAC level. In addition, discrepancies among breath alcohol content, guesstimated BAC, and eBAC were found as a function of gender. Lastly, differences in eBAC scores did not differ when drinking behaviors were obtained via in vivo versus retrospective methodology. Findings suggest that college students generally have difficulty assessing their BAC level and drinking behaviors while drinking in the college social setting. This study offers particular insight for research relying on estimates of BAC as well as interventions utilizing BAC education. Copyright 2012, American Psychological Association.
Drinking correlates of DSM-IV alcohol use disorder diagnostic orphans in college students.
Hagman BT; Cohn AM. American Journal on Addictions 21(3): 233-242, 2012. (31 refs.)
One major limitation of the DSM-IV criteria for alcohol abuse and dependence is that a cluster of individuals who endorse a subthreshold number of dependence criteria and no abuse criteria do not receive a formal diagnosis; despite elevated risk for alcohol-related problems relative to those with an abuse diagnosis. These individuals have been referred to as diagnostic orphans. The primary aim of this study was to examine alcohol use correlates of a group of diagnostic orphans in a sample of 396 nontreatment seeking college students who reported drinking on at least one occasion in the last 90 days. DSM-IV criteria were assessed using a modified version of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview-Substance Abuse Module (CIDI-SAM). Diagnostic orphans represented 34.1% (n = 135) of the original sample who did not receive a formal diagnosis; with the most frequently endorsed dependence criteria being tolerance and drinking larger/longer amounts than intended. Diagnostic orphans reported a range of alcohol-related negative consequences and reported greater frequencies of social and enhancement drinking motives in comparison to coping motives. They were similar to alcohol abusers and dissimilar to those with dependence or those without a diagnosis on alcohol consumption, alcohol problem severity, drinking motives and restraint variables. The present findings indicate that diagnostic orphans in college students represent a distinct group of drinkers who may be at risk for the development of alcohol use disorders and may be in need of intervention, given their similarity to those with an abuse diagnosis. Prevention and intervention efforts across college campuses should target this group to prevent escalation of alcohol problem severity. Copyright 2012, Wiley-Blackwell.
First impressions on the scene: The influence of the immediate reference group on incoming first-year students' alcohol behavior and attitudes.
Hummer JF; LaBrie JW; Pedersen ER. Journal of College Student Development 53(1): 149-162, 2012. (43 refs.)
This study examined incoming first-year students' normative perceptions of alcohol use and alcohol-related attitudes of other students of the same gender living on their residence hall floor. Male and female residents overestimated the alcohol use behavior and related attitudes among their floormates. Results also showed that perceived norms were strongly related to individual drinking behaviors and permissive attitudes toward drinking. Moreover, feelings of connectedness to one's residence hall were found to moderate this relationship. These findings identify a salient reference group to target in initiatives aimed at utilizing normative feedback to reduce alcohol-related risk in the first year of college. Copyright 2012, Johns Hopkins University Press.
Global sleep quality as a moderator of alcohol consumption and consequences in college students.
Kenney SR; LaBrie JW; Hummer JF; Pham AT. Addictive Behaviors 37(4): 507-512, 2012. (49 refs.)
The authors examined the relationship between global sleep quality and alcohol risk, including the extent to which global sleep quality moderated the relationship between alcohol use and drinking-related consequences. Global sleep quality was measured using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and alcohol-related consequences were assessed using the Rutgers Alcohol Problem Index (RAM). The sample consisted of 261 college students (61.3% female, 58.2% Caucasian) who completed online surveys. Using a four-step hierarchical multiple regression model, global sleep quality was found to predict alcohol consequences, over and above assessed covariates (demographics and weekly drinking). Further, global sleep quality emerged as a strong moderator in the drinking-consequences relationship such that among heavier drinkers, those with poorer global sleep quality experienced significantly greater alcohol-related harm. Campus health education and alcohol interventions may be adapted to address the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, both in terms of healthful sleeping and drinking behaviors, which appear to play a strong synergistic role in alcohol-related risk. Copyright 2012, Elsevier Science.
What matters most? Assessing the influence of demographic characteristics, college-specific risk factors, and poly-drug use on nonmedical prescription drug use.
Lanier C; Farley EJ. Journal of American College Health 59(8): 721-727, 2011. (37 refs.)
Objective: Although prior recent research has revealed a significant relationship between the nonmedical use of prescription drugs, demographic characteristics, college-specific risk factors, and other substance use among college students, there remains a need to conduct a comparative analysis on the differential impact these factors may have on predicting nonmedical prescription drug use. Participants and Methods: In 2008 a convenience sample of 599 undergraduate students attending a southeastern university completed a self-report survey measuring substance use behaviors. Results: Males, Greeks, and freshman were more likely than females, non-Greeks, and upperclassman to use nonmedical prescription drugs in the past year. Multivariate analyses, however, indicate that the excessive use of alcohol and other illicit drugs are more influential than demographic and college-specific risk factors. Conclusion: Poly-drug use was found to be the most significant predictor of the use of nonmedical prescription drugs as compared to demographic and college-specific risk factors. Copyright 2011, Taylor & Francis.
The use of university debit cards for purchasing cigarettes: An opportunity for tobacco use prevention on university campuses.
Lazev AB; Norton TR; Collins B; Ma G; Miller S. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy 19(1): 59-63, 2012. (27 refs.)
Aims: Young adults have the highest smoking rate of any age group in the United States. However, little is known about how young adults, including college students, access and pay for cigarettes - important information for guiding policies and prevention and intervention efforts. This study examined students' use of university debit cards, which provide money intended for school-related purchases and living expenses, to purchase cigarettes. Methods: Undergraduate students (N = 1302) at a large urban university completed an online survey during the spring 2009 semester. Students received a $10 gift card for completing at least 90% of the survey. Findings: Among past 30-day smokers (n = 367), 42% purchased cigarettes with university debit cards and were more likely to be daily smokers, smoked more cigarettes per day and tended to be younger than those who used other purchasing methods only. Conclusion: These data suggest that a significant number of students use their university debit cards to buy cigarettes, possibly increasing their access to cigarettes and contributing to their smoking behaviour. This trend may be more commonplace than parents or university administrators realize and should be considered when designing smoking prevention/intervention efforts as well as university policies. Copyright 2012, Informa Healthcare.
Predictors of nonmedical use of prescription stimulants.
Lookatch SJ; Dunne EM; Katz EC. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 44(1): 86-91, 2012. (30 refs.)
College students across the U.S. engage in nonmedical use of prescription stimulants (NMUPS) at increasing rates. While it has been found that use is frequently motivated by a belief that stimulants will act as a study aid, little is known about predictors of NMUPS. The present study addressed impulsivity, outcome expectancies, and evaluations of expected outcomes as predictors of NMUPS in a sample of 206 college students at a mid-Atlantic university. Approximately 26.1% of students endorsed past year NMUPS. Results indicated an increased likelihood of self-reported NMUPS was associated with increases in lack of premeditation, sensation seeking, positive expectancies and positive evaluations. Moreover, the extent to which participants believed that potential negative consequences were more severe was associated with a decreased likelihood of NMUPS. The current study suggests that impulsive personality, outcome expectancies, and evaluations of expected outcomes are important predictors of NMUPS among college students. Future research should consider other potential predictors of NMUPS in order to inform the development of prevention strategies. Copyright 2012, Haight-Ashbury Publications.
'Off your Face(book)': Alcohol in online social identity construction and its relation to problem drinking in university students.
Ridout B; Campbell A; Ellis L. Drug and Alcohol Review 31(1): 20-26, 2012. (40 refs.)
Introduction and Aims. Alcohol is a key component of identity exploration for many young people, yet few studies have investigated identity construction in relation to problematic drinking. Increases in youth alcohol consumption have coincided with expanding use of communications technologies, particularly social networking sites (SNS), which have altered traditional conditions of identity construction. It has been found young people often engage with alcohol in the SNS environment by portraying themselves as binge drinkers. The current study applied an innovative approach to identity construction (the photographic essay) to provide insight into the portrayal of alcohol-identity on Facebook. Design and Methods. One hundred and fifty-eight university students completed a range of alcohol measures before providing access for researchers to view their Facebook profiles to operationalise their alcohol-identity according to autophotographic methodology. Results. Participants utilised a variety of photographic and textual material to present alcohol as a component of their identity on Facebook, with over half having selected an alcohol-related profile image. Alcohol-identity predicted alcohol consumption and problematic alcohol-related behaviours as measured by questionnaires used to reliably identify alcohol-related problems in university students. Almost 60% reported potentially problematic alcohol use according to the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test. Discussion and Conclusions. Findings suggest that portraying oneself as a drinker is considered by many young people to be a socially desirable component of identity in the SNS environment, perpetuating an online culture that normalises binge drinking. Ready-made Facebook photo essays provide an alternate method of accessing problematic alcohol use, supplementing self-report measures. Copyright 2012, Wiley-Blackwell.
Screening and brief intervention for tobacco use by student health providers on college campuses.
Sutfin EL; McNamara RS; Blocker JN; Ip EH; O'Brien MC; Wolfson M. Journal of American College Health 60(1): 66-73, 2012. (36 refs.)
Objective: This study assessed college students' reports of tobacco screening and brief intervention by student health center providers. Participants: Participants were 3,800 students from 8 universities in North Carolina. Methods: Web-based survey of a stratified random sample of undergraduates. Results: Fifty-three percent reported ever visiting their student health center. Of those, 62% reported being screened for tobacco use. Logistic regression revealed screening was higher among females and smokers, compared to nonsmokers. Among students who were screened and who reported tobacco use, 50% reported being advised to quit or reduce use. Brief intervention was more likely among current daily smokers compared to current nondaily smokers, as well as at schools with higher smoking rates. Screening and brief intervention were more likely at schools with lower clinic caseloads. Conclusions: Results highlight the need to encourage college health providers to screen every patient at every visit and to provide brief intervention for tobacco users. Copyright 2012, Taylor & Francis.
Poor adjustment to college life mediates the relationship between drinking motives and alcohol consequences: A look at college adjustment, drinking motives, and drinking outcomes.
LaBrie JW; Ehret PJ; Hummer JF; Prenovost K. Addictive Behaviors 37(4): 379-386, 2012. (68 refs.)
The current study examined whether the relationship between drinking motives and alcohol-related outcomes was mediated by college adjustment. Participants (N=253) completed an online survey that assessed drinking motives, degree of both positive and negative college adjustment, typical weekly drinking, and past month negative alcohol-related consequences. Structural equation modeling examined negative alcohol consequences as a function of college adjustment, drinking motives, and weekly drinking behavior in college students. Negative college adjustment mediated the relationship between coping drinking motives and drinking consequences. Positive college adjustment was not related to alcohol consumption or consequences. Positive reinforcement drinking motives (i.e. social and enhancement) not only directly predicted consequences, but were partially mediated by weekly drinking and degree of negative college adjustment. Gender specific models revealed that males exhibited more variability in drinking and their positive reinforcement drinking motives were more strongly associated with weekly drinking. Uniquely for females, coping motives were directly and indirectly (via negative adjustment) related to consequences. These findings suggest that interventions which seek to decrease alcohol-related risk may wish to incorporate discussions about strategies for decreasing stress and increasing other factors associated with better college adjustment. Copyright 2012, Elsevier Science.
Ethnicity specific norms and alcohol consumption among Hispanic/Latino/and Caucasian students.
LaBrie JW; Atkins DC; Neighbors C; Mirza T; Larimer ME. Addictive Behaviors 37(4): 573-576, 2012. (35 refs.)
Previous research has shown that social norms are among the strongest predictors of college student drinking and that normative misperceptions of more similar groups' drinking behavior may be more influential on individual drinking than those groups perceived to be more different. However, limited research has explored the moderating role of ethnicity in this context. The current study examined the differential impact that Hispanic/Latino/a and Caucasian students' normative perceptions of both typical and same-ethnicity college students' drinking behavior had on their own drinking. Participants (N = 5,369 students; 60.4% female; 81.4% Caucasian; mean age 19.9 years) from two colleges completed web-based surveys assessing their alcohol consumption, and their perceptions of the drinking behaviors of both the typical college student and the typical same race/ethnicity college student at their campus. Results demonstrated that perceived norms were significantly associated with likelihood of drinking regardless of race or ethnicity specificity, but that Hispanics/Latinos/as typically had weaker relationships between ethnicity-specific norms and drinking than general student norms and drinking. The opposite was true for Caucasians such that the relationship between same-race norms and drinking was stronger than the relationship between general student norms and drinking. Further, Hispanic/Latino/a students with high perceived norms were less likely to have consumed any alcohol than Caucasians with similar normative beliefs. Further, a campus site interaction suggests that the size of the minority population on campus relative to other students may influence the relationship between norms and drinking. Implications and targets for future investigation are discussed. Copyright 2012, Elsevier Science.
An assessment of America's tobacco-free colleges and universities.
Plaspohl SS; Parrillo AV; Vogel R; Tedders S; Epstein A. Journal of American College Health 60(2): 162-167, 2012. (20 refs.)
Objective: This study examined the extent to which US campuses identified as "100% tobacco-free" by the American Lung Association of Oregon adhered to the American College Health Association's the most recent guidelines and recommendations promoting tobacco-free environments in colleges and universities. Participants: A key informant from 162 of175 institutions (92.6% response rate) completed an online survey between January 2010 and February 2010. Methods: The variables under study were assessed via a cross-sectional research design. Participants completed a 35-item survey regarding their school's tobacco policies, procedures, and enforcement practices. Results: Although the vast majority of schools had written policies and procedures in place, schools with current policies were the most compliant. Numerous opportunities for improved adherence were identified in the results. Conclusions: Findings from this study may help institutions in the development and implementation of a new tobacco policy, as well as strengthen policies among existing tobacco-free schools. Copyright 2012, Taylor & Francis.
Substance use in college students with ADHD.
Rooney M; Chronis-Tuscano A; Yoon Y. Journal of Attention Disorders 16(3): 221-234, 2012. (84 refs.)
Objective: The college years represent a developmental transition during which the initiation and escalation of heavy drinking set the stage for lifelong difficulties with alcohol and other drugs. Evidence from studies of adolescents and young adults with ADHD suggests that college students with the disorder may be uniquely vulnerable to alcohol- and drug-related problems. However, no studies have examined substance use in college students with ADHD. Method: Tobacco, alcohol, illicit drug use, and associated impairment were examined in 91 college students with (n = 53) and without (n = 38) ADHD. Results: ADHD was associated with increased frequency of tobacco use, higher rates of dangerous or hazardous patterns of alcohol use, and higher levels of impairment related to marijuana and nonmarijuana illicit drug use, independent of conduct disorder history. Conclusion: These findings suggest that college students with ADHD may be at elevated risk for problematic patterns of substance use. Copyright 2012, Sage Publications.
The College Drinker's Check-Up: Outcomes of two randomized clinical trials of a computer-delivered intervention.
Hester RK; Delaney HD; Campbell W. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors 26(1): 1-12, 2012. (48 refs.)
The objective of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a computer-delivered intervention (CDI) to reduce heavy drinking and alcohol-related problems in college students in two randomized clinical trials. In Experiment 1, we randomized 144 students to either the CDI or an assessment-only control group with follow-ups at 1 and 12 months. In Experiment 2, we randomized 82 students to either the CDI or a delayed-assessment control group with follow-up at I month. In Experiment I, participants in both groups significantly reduced their drinking at both follow-ups. Compared to the control group, the CDI group reduced their drinking significantly more at 1 and 12 months on three drinking measures at a alpha < .05. Using a more conservative, Bonferroni-adjusted criterion yielded one significant difference in a measure of heavier drinking at the 1 month follow-up. The mean between-groups effect sizes were d =.34 and .36 at 1 and 12 months, respectively. Experiment 2. Compared to the delayed assessment control group, the CDI group significantly reduced (by the Bonferroni-adjusted criterion) their drinking on all consumption measures. These results support the effectiveness of the CDI with heavy drinking college students when used in a clinical setting. In addition, the significant reductions in typical drinking in the control group in Experiment 1 and not in Experiment 2 combined with comparable baseline characteristics suggests that the control group in Experiment I demonstrated assessment reactivity. Copyright 2012, American Psychological Association.
Academic demands are associated with reduced alcohol consumption by college students: Evidence from a daily analysis.
Butler AB; Spencer D; Dodge K. Journal of Drug Education 41(4): 359-367, 2011. (20 refs.)
There is little empirical evidence linking academic demands or rigor to alcohol consumption by college students. In a 3-week daily study of full-time college students at a public, residential campus in the United States, both current day and next day's academic demands were negatively related to alcohol consumption, and these relationships were mediated by daily academic effort. Academic demands on the previous day were not related to alcohol consumption, indicating that students do not engage in compensatory or celebratory drinking when demands end. The results suggest that enhancing academic expectations and rigor may be an appropriate intervention target to reduce student drinking. Copyright 2011, Baywood Publishing.