217060 Depression, Drinking and Negative Consequences Among a Sample of College Students

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 : 8:30 AM - 8:48 AM

Adrienne E. Keller, PhD , National Social Norms Institute, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
Lydia F. Killos, PhD , Health Promotion/ National Social Norms Institute, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
Background: High risk drinking is a well-acknowledged problem among college students. Research has focused on drinking and negative consequences, and on depression and drinking, but there is little research on the role depression in the experience of negative consequences. Purpose: To investigate if depression is a significant predictor of negative consequences associated with drinking. Significance: Most interventions to decrease college student drinking have the goal of harm reduction. It is therefore very important for health professionals to understand factors that contribute to the experience of harm. Methodology: All data is from the spring 2008 and 2009 American College Health Association's National College Health Assessments, administered to random samples of students at eight universities (n=7,606). Yearly sample sizes at each university vary from 276 to 1591. Sixteen indicators of depression were combined into an additive scale (range=0 to 50, mean=12.58, sd=9.22). Estimated blood alcohol content (eBAC; range=0 to .3, mean=.062, sd=.064) is the measure of drinking. Seven negative consequences were combined into an additive scale (range=0 to 7, mean=.89, sd=1.3). Findings/Results: A step-wise linear regression accounted for 28.1% of the variance in number of negative consequences: sex, race, year in school, residence and fraternity/sorority membership accounted for 4.2% (F(6,7539)=5454, p<.001), depression score for 3.3% (F(1,7538)=271.14, p<.001), and eBAC for 20.7% (F(1,7537)=2165.99, p<.001). Conclusions/Recommendations: Depression places a significant role in the number of negative consequences associated with college student drinking. It is critically important to take co-morbid depression into account in designing programs to reduce harm associated with drinking.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the measures used to assess depression, drinking and negative consequences. Explain the role of depression in mediating the experience of negative consequences. Discuss the implications for prevention, harm reduction and treatment programs for high risk drinkers in college.

Keywords: Alcohol Problems, Depression

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: as Research Director for the National Social Norms Institute I am directly responsible for all data and performed all data analyses myself.
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.