206429 Freshmen alcohol use in college living/learning communities vs. traditional housing: An advancement in binge drinking management?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Erin K. O'Neill, PhD, CHES, CSCS , School of Education, Teaching and Health, American University, Washington, DC
From 2004 to 2005, a study was conducted at a large Mid Atlantic University to examine college health risk behaviors between incoming freshmen residing in specialized living/learning dormitories versus incoming freshmen residing in residential housing. Amongst the most significant findings is the difference in alcohol use in the beginning of the academic year and the end of the academic year. When arriving to campus, incoming freshmen in Living/Learning communities report lower levels of alcohol consumption than their traditionally housed peers. 62.2% of freshmen residing in specialized resident halls report having a history of absolute alcohol abstinence with a further 18.9% reporting not drinking or moderate consumption (one or two drinks) in the 30 days prior to the survey. In contrast, 7.7% of incoming freshmen in traditional dormitories report abstaining from alcohol in the 30 days prior to the survey. Based on the data collected from the Fall 2004 survey and the Spring 2005 survey, of all the students who have had alcohol, fewer students in the living/learning community report binge drinking, or having more than five drinks in a row (Fall χ2 = 39.6, p<.001; Spring χ2= 39.6, p<.001).

Currently, a similar study examining the effects on Living/Learning Communities on the alcohol intake of college freshmen is taking place at a medium sized urban University of 12,000 undergraduate students in the mid Atlantic region. The researcher hopes to share these results, a brief analysis and learning outcomes with her prior results from 2004-2005.

Learning Objectives:
-Discuss the effect of campus environments on the alcohol drinking behaviors of incoming college freshmen. -Demonstrate with the data the discrepancy in binge drinking behavior between incoming freshmen living in Living/Learning Communities vs. Traditional Housing. -List reasons discrepancies in drinking behaviors exist between students in Living Learning Communities and Traditional dorms. -Formulate solid ideas for late adolescent program planning to combat alcohol abuse and alcohol induced injury related behaviors.

Keywords: College Students, Binge Drinking

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Education: PhD, Virginia Tech: Cirriculum and Instruction (concentration in Health Promotion and Higher Education/Student Affairs) MS, Virginia Tech: Health Promotion BS, University of Delaware: Health, Exercise, and Sport Science (concentration Strength and Conditioning) CHES (Certified Health Education Specialist) Applicable Publications: O'Neill, E.K. (2006). Differences shown in alcohol consumption between incoming freshmen in wellness themed housing and traditional themed housing. NASPA Net Results and Journal. O'Neill, E. K. (2007). Differences in health risk behaviors between college freshmen living in special interest housing and traditional housing. Dissertation Abstracts International, (UMI No. 3300063) Applicable Presentations: January 2009. “Too Stressed to Think: How to provide a healthy college learning environment”. American University’s Ann Ferren’s Teaching Conference. January 2008. Coordinated and taught strength and conditioning workshop to elite youth athletes visiting from Jordan. The purpose of the program was to build health ambassadors to their home country through sport and was sponsored through the State Department. June, 2008. Presented a sports nutrition workshop for under-17 National Tunisian Basketball (women and men’s) basketball teams for U.S. Department of State January, 2008. “Stress Relief: Creating a Work/Life Balance”, lead panel discussion at American University’s Ann Ferren’s Teaching Conference. December, 2007. “Applicability of Functional Training to Special Populations”, Presentation at National Strength and Conditioning Association’s (NSCA) 2007 Winter Conference. (this presentation included information on wellness and environmental factors regarding college students "growing" into health)
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.