171211 Precipitating Factors Leading to Drinking Problems Among College Students

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Michael Young, PhD , College of Health & Social Services, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM
Mohammed Y. Hussain, PhD , Department of Health Science, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM
Problem drinking among college students continues to be a significant public health problem. The purpose of this study was to determine whether a set of predictor variables, which included perceptions of alcohol as a facilitator of social bonding, could account for a substantial amount of the variation in problem drinking among college students. College students (ages 17-24) enrolled in health related service courses at a major Southeastern university voluntarily completed a questionnaire in their regular classroom settings. The questionnaire included items designed to elicit information related to drinking behavior and suspected correlates of such behavior. Data were analyzed using SAS programs, including frequency counts, factor analysis and logistic regression. More females (264) than males (194) completed the questionnaire. The majority of the respondents (59%) were white, but other races were represented. Getting drunk as a regular pattern of behavior was reported by 88.2%. Factor analysis was used to identify a five item problem drinking factor, as well as four predictor factors. Logistic regression analyzes were conducted by gender. Results indicated that the set of predictor variables did distinguish between those who were classified problem drinkers and those who were not. This was the case for males, females, and those who did not specify gender. Percent concordant values ranged from 58% to 85%. The variable that seemed to be the most important predictor variable was the perception that alcohol facilitates social bonding. These results should be considered by those developing interventions to reduce problem drinking among college students.

Learning Objectives:
As a result of the presentation, people will be able to identify factors predicting drinking problems as a health belief behavior with social bonding and motivation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a researcher biostatistician and collaborate with colleagues in the college of Health and Social Services Department of Health Science, NMSU, on many health research projects
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.