Analyzing the use of alcohol-related protective behaviors among college students attending a Midwest Liberal Arts University




Holbrook, Celeste

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The increased use of alcohol among college students has raised concern among health educators. High-risk drinking behaviors are widely popular in many groups of college students, and binge drinking is especially common. Studies indicate that two out of every five American college students are considered binge drinkers (O'Malley & Johnston, 2002). Many types of types of health education programs have been utilized by campus health educators to reduce alcohol-related negative consequences among college students (The Bacchus Network, n.d.). One particular type of intervention includes the promotion of alcohol-related protective behaviors that can be employed by students to reduce the occurrence of alcohol-related consequences (College Drinking Prevention, 2010a).

This study identified the frequency of nine alcohol-related protective behaviors that undergraduate students who attended a Midwestern U.S. university employ to reduce the negative consequences of frequent, heavy alcohol use. The null hypothesis indicated that there would be no difference in the use of alcohol-related protective behaviors by gender (male vs. female), Greek affiliation (students who identify as Greek vs. independent), or living status (students who live on campus vs. those who live off campus). A secondary data set collected in 2007 from the students was analyzed for this study. The findings indicated that gender and Greek affiliation had a significant effect on the use of alcohol-related protective behaviors, while living status had no significant effect on alcohol-related protective behaviors. The influences of gender. Greek affiliation, and living status were examined in relation to theoretically based health education programs aimed at reducing alcohol-related negative consequences. Further research on alcohol-related protective behaviors in this population can help health educators plan, implement, and evaluate programs to reduce negative consequences of alcohol consumption by college students.



Health and environmental sciences, Education, Psychology, Alcohol, Binge drinking, College students, High risk drinking, Protective behaviors