244744 Prevalence of alcohol use and misuse among community college students

Monday, October 31, 2011

Kimberly Wagoner, DrPH, MPH , Div of Public Health Sciences/Dept of Social Sciences & Health Policy, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
Wendy Seegers, MA , UW-Fox Valley, University of Wisconsin Colleges, Menasha, WI
Substance use is pervasive among college students in the United States, resulting in attention being focused on students attending traditional 4-year colleges. However, little research has been conducted with community colleges, despite the 11.6 million students enrolled at the 1,195 community colleges across the country. Community college campuses, and the students who attend them, have unique characteristics that impact their substance use. For example, community college students tend to be older and have more demands than traditional college students, highlighting the need to understand factors affecting substance use.

The goals of the study are to assess prevalence of alcohol use and misuse among community college students and to identify correlates associated with use. In spring 2009, 1,285 students from 13 Wisconsin community colleges completed a web-based survey on substance use. Approximately half (52.1%) of the sample is female, 64% under 21 years old, 87% full-time students, and 90% White. Approximately 48% of respondents reported past 30-day drinking. Among drinkers, 60% binge drank at least once in the past 2 weeks, and 40% reported driving a car while under the influence of alcohol in the past year. Additional analyses will be conducted to assess the relationship between demographics, current alcohol use, binge drinking, consequences due to own and other's drinking, and current tobacco and marijuana use. The relationship with environmental factors including alcohol availability through commercial and social venues will also be examined. Results will shed light on alcohol use among community college students. Implications for campus/community interventions will be discussed.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related education
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1) Identify correlates of alcohol misuse among community college students. 2) Describe unique characteristics of community college students and campuses that may contribute to alcohol misuse.

Keywords: Alcohol Use, College Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have presented multiple presentations and posters at APHA and other conferences on various topics including underage drinking, high risk drinking on college campuses, social host policies, and women's health issues. I have a growing publications list of which I am first author or a contributing author. I currently have 2 first authored papers on underage alcohol use and college alcohol use under review. I have been working with 2 community college systems (1 in California and 1 in Wisconsin) over the past year to develop a research agenda focused on substance use in this population.
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.