The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

4011.0: Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 9:24 AM

Abstract #40822

College students alcohol drinking behavior during spring break

Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim, MD, PhD, Department of Health Policy and Administration, Penn State University, 114 Henderson, University Park, State College, PA 16802, 814-865-1472,, Amir Qaseem, MD, MHA, Department of Health Policy & Administration, The Pennsylvania State University, 16 Henderson Bldg., University Park, PA 16802, Sevil Sonmez, PhD, Department of Recreation Management and Tourism, Arizona State University, P.O. Box 874905, Tempe, AZ 85287-4905, Yorghos Apostolopoulos, PhD, Department of Sociology, Arizona State University, P.O. Box 872101, 321 Social Sciences Building, Tempe, AZ 85287-2101, and Lucy C. Yu, PhD, Health Policy and Administration, Pennsylvania State University, 116 Henderson Building, University Park, PA 16802.

Background: Spring break is a special time of indulgence where a combination of factors may intensify already existing risky behaviors such as alcohol abuse. With all negative implications of such abuse, there is a need to examine the current status of drinking behavior during spring break and whether health education messages reached the target population. Methods: In this descriptive study, we analyzed information from a pre- and a post-spring break surveys administered to 532 and 238 students respectively from two US universities in 1999. We considered alcohol drinking and related behaviors during spring break. Results: The majority indicated that they will be in "break loose mood" (93%) and half of them emphasized the importance of the spring break destination "to have drinking opportunities" prior to the spring break. This was later realized where 68% reported that they partied, 65% of them drank alcohol, 39% got drunk, and 8% drank till they passed out. Only 10% remembered they received health education material. Yet, 79% of the students knew that drinking too much can get them in trouble. This calls for more than just passing the information to them. Conclusions: College students should be approached with more effective methods to change drinking behavior and make them aware of the real picture of the norm regarding alcohol drinking. We can assert that there is a lot of room for improvement to reach this population at this vulnerable time prior to spring break itself.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Alcohol Use, College Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

College Drinking: All the Places It Takes You

The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA