148820 Predictors of student perceptions of college campus alcohol and drug policies

Monday, November 5, 2007

Hortensia Amaro, PhD , Institute on Urban Health Research, Northeastern University, Boston, MA
Christine Lee, PhD , Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Sean Tollison , Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
College alcohol and drug (AD) policies are critical to prevention efforts. We report predictors of student awareness, support for and perceptions of strictness and effectiveness of AD campus policies. Data were gathered via web-based surveys from a representative random sample of 1070 undergraduate students (41% response) at Northeastern University. Most students (51%-78%) were aware of policies and were on average, neutral in their agreement with those policies. Hierarchical regression analyses examined the relationship of individual student differences predictive of student support for AD policies and their opinions on how well enforced, how strict, and how effective those policies are while controlling for possible confounders. Binge drinking (b = 0.26, p < .001) and illegal drug use (b = 0.07, p <.05) were positively related to perception of strictness, while binging was inversely related to support (b = -0.20, p < .001). The belief that fellow students care about problems associated with alcohol and drug use was associated with support of NEU policies (b = 0.12, p < .001) and with the perception that policies were effective (b = 0.14, p < .001). Additionally, the belief that NEU has higher alcohol use compared to other campuses was associated with beliefs that policies were less strict (b = -0.13, p < .001), effective (b = -0.11, p = .001), and enforced (b = -0.12, p < .001). Campus initiatives to increase student concern about AD use may provide an avenue for increasing student support and positive perceptions of AD policies.

Learning Objectives:
1. List the major predictors of student attitudes toward college alcohol and drug policies. 2. Describe the procedures for assessing student attitudes toward alcohol and drug policies. 3. Discuss the implications of student attitudes for prevention of binge drinking and drug use among college students.

Keywords: College Students, Alcohol Use

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.