Online Program

Students' drinking status and likelihood of carrying a weapon on campus

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Michael Dunn, PhD, Department of Health Sciences, Coastal Carolina University, Conway, SC
Gayle Walter, PhD, MPH, CHES, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Mercy College of Health Sciences, Des Moines, IA
Peter Anderson, PhD, College of Health Sciences, Walden University, Minneapolis, MN
David Florkowski, PhD, Gordon & Leslie Diamond Health Care Center, Vancouver

The increased incidence of violence erupting at our nation’s universities is cause for concern among college students, parents, and university administration.  Among those aged 15-29, alcohol accounts for more than 10% of the overall burden of violence and disease. As such, the purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between alcohol use, weapon carrying, and the feeling of safety among college students participating in the 2010 CORE Alcohol and Drug Survey. 


Participants (n=54,582) responded by either completing the electronic version or the written form of the CORE Alcohol and Drug Survey.


Logistic regression was conducted to determine 1) the relationship between the number of binge drinking episodes, the average number of drinks consumed in a week, and the likelihood of carrying a weapon on campus, and 2) the relationship between feeling safe on campus and carrying a weapon and how that association changed with alcohol drinking level. 


The results of this study found that males, particularly minority non-Hispanic, who lived off campus and were binge drinkers were the most likely to carry a weapon on campus.  Additionally, there was a significant interaction between feelings of safety on campus and drinking level such that as people felt less safe and drank more, they were more likely to carry a weapon on campus. As such, there seems to be a direct relationship between binge drinking and weapon carrying on college campuses in the U.S.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Assess the binge drinking practices of college students. Describe the association between carrying a weapon on campus and binge drinking among college students. Discuss the association between alcohol drinking levels and carrying a weapon and feelings of safety on campus.

Keyword(s): Alcohol Use, Violence & Injury Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: My research interests have been in the alcohol behaviors of college students for several years and I have published three other articles in peer-reviewed journals relating to this topic. I consider myself a content expert in alcohol behaviors among college students based on my research experience, publications, and extensive literature review on the topic.
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.