Navigation Links
College Students Who Binge Drink Say They're Happier
Date:8/20/2012

By Alan Mozes
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- So-called "high-status" and socially powerful college kids are more likely to engage in binge drinking than their less-wealthy, less-connected, lower-status peers, new research reveals. But lower-status students who do binge on alcohol say they are more "socially satisfied" with their college experience than their non-binge-drinking peers.

What this means, say investigators, is that on campuses where binge drinking is a problem, those students who are white, wealthy, straight, male, or fraternity-initiated are much more prone to drink in excess of four to five drinks at a pop than those who are poorer, non-white, female, gay, or unconnected to the frat system.

Higher-status students were also found to be consistently happier with their college social life than lower-status students.

"The study reveals that if you want to understand college binge drinking, you need to understand that college students are reacting to the local campus social situation," said study lead author Carolyn Hsu, an associate professor of sociology and chair in the department of sociology and anthropology at Colgate University in Hamilton, N.Y. "[And] on campuses with a persistently high level of binge drinking, students engage in binge drinking because binge drinking is associated with high status and with social satisfaction."

Hsu and her colleagues are scheduled to discuss these and other related findings Monday at the American Sociological Association's annual meeting in Denver.

The authors arrived at their analysis based on responses to a 2009 survey that was completed by almost 1,600 undergraduate students enrolled at a single liberal arts college located in the northeastern United States.

Binge drinking was defined as drinking four drinks (for women) or five drinks (for men) during a single session at least once within a two-week period. Sixty-four percent of study participants qualified as binge drinkers.

"[But] we really don't want the take-home message of this research to be, 'Students, it's a reasonable choice to drink -- it makes you happier," Hsu emphasized. "We want to make clear that we believe binge drinking is a really dangerous and ultimately self-destructive behavior, and that a social power structure that promotes this is a bad thing," she said.

"The goal of our study is to help those who want to lower binge-drinking rates to be more effective at their job," Hsu explained. "We also want to empower those students who don't really want to binge drink, but feel like it's 'the thing to do.'"

For his part, Jeffrey Parsons, an addictions expert and psychology professor in the psychology department of Hunter College in New York City, suggested that what is at play here is "peer pressure at its finest."

"College can represent a very stressful period in the life of a young person," he noted. "New responsibilities, less parental monitoring, and more reliance and need for peer support. As a result, it's not surprising that students who escape from such pressures through binge drinking might report being happier," he pointed out.

"In the short term," Parsons continued, "drinking can feel like an effective coping mechanism. [And] this study suggests that binge drinking helps more marginalized students feel like they fit in," given that the popularity and legality of drinking make it an easy and attractive activity, "particularly to college students who may feel dissatisfied with their college experience."

However, Parsons added that "what is particularly distressing about these results is how marginalized students in this study seem to benefit the most from binge drinking, in terms of their social satisfaction. This to me suggests that college campuses need to do more to improve the campus climate for these students."

All that said, Parsons cautioned not to make too much of the study findings.

"This is a single study, conducted at a private liberal arts university. The results might be much different at a more public university, or one that is primarily a commuter campus where the 'campus life' is not so important as it is when most students live on campus," he noted.

And "it is possible there are other factors, not assessed by the researchers, that lead one to both binge drink and be satisfied with their college experience," Parsons added. "So, although it's a very interesting piece of research, this type of study would need to be replicated at more-diverse colleges in order to feel confident the findings are generalizable."

Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

For more on binge drinking, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCES: Carolyn L. Hsu, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology and chair, department of sociology and anthropology, Colgate University, Hamilton, N.Y.; Jeffrey T. Parsons, Ph.D., addiction expert and psychology professor, psychology department, Hunter College, New York City; Aug. 20, 2012, presentation, American Sociological Association meeting, Denver


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Weill Cornell Medical College establishes Center for Healthcare Informatics and Policy
2. Texting in College Classrooms Common, Distracting
3. Overuse Injuries Common Among Female College Athletes
4. American College of Cardiology cites new USF Simulation Center for Training Excellence
5. University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work announces partnership with MD Anderson
6. More College-Educated Women Having Children
7. US Army internal medicine Masters, Fellows honored by American College of Physicians
8. US Army internal medicine residents receive awards from American College of Physicians
9. More Mental Health Woes in College Kids Who Abuse Prescription Drugs
10. Better Health Screening Urged for Female College Athletes
11. College Athlete Deaths in Workouts Spur New Guidelines
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, ... the 2016 Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where ... city’s history as home to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal and ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... ... PawPaws brand pet supplements owned by Whole Health Supply is ... of felines. The formula is all-natural and is made from Chinese herbs that have ... Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus Root Extract and Rehmannia Root Extract ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These women need a treatment plan ... require a comprehensive approach that can help for preservation of fertility and ultimately ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Austin, TX (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... Fellow of the American College of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for ... popular and highly effective treatment for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand ... project," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s ... within Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Any dentist who has made ... the current process. Many of them do not even offer ... difficulties and high laboratory costs involved. And those who ARE ... at such a high cost that the majority of today,s ... Dr. Parsa Zadeh , founder of Dental Evolutions Inc. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... to 2022" report to their offering. ... financial data derived from varied research sources to present unique ... on the market during the next five years, including a ... markets, regional and country level analysis. The report provides a ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. , June 23, 2016 ... 9:00 a.m. CST on Thursday, July 7, 2016 , , ... kayla.belcher@frost.com ) , , , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  ... Sciences, Nitin Naik; Senior Industry Analyst, Christi Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, ... The global pharmaceutical industry is witnessing ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: