Expressing concern about binge drinking can influence student choices

July 18, 2013, Pennsylvania State University

Jeff Hayes, a professor of counseling psychology in Penn State's College of Education, helped conduct a study and co-wrote a journal article on alcohol consumption of college-aged students. The study focused on how students who had people in their lives who expressed concern about alcohol consumption were more likely to be concerned about their own alcohol consumption.

The consequences of on college campuses can be dire, both for the student and others, according to Hayes. He pointed to a statistic that more than half of college students who sought counseling reported at a level considered to be "hazardous" by the World Health Organization.

Hayes said that one of the goals of this study was to educate professionals who work with students, which he hopes will result in better student engagement and more effective outreach programs. The other goal of this study was to raise awareness of friends and family of students who abuse alcohol.

"We found that students who were not distressed about their binge drinking did not have other people who expressed concern to them about their ," said Hayes. "On the other hand, when a friend or family member expressed concerns to a student about her or his , it can help the student reflect on their alcohol consumption and begin to take steps to reduce it."

Hayes said that this study grew out of both professional and personal interests.

"My concerns about binge drinking stem from multiple perspectives," said Hayes. "As a licensed psychologist, I often hear about the effects of binge drinking on students' , on their relationships and on their mental and physical well-being. As a parent of three teenagers, including one in college, I am aware of and concerned about the ingrained culture of binge drinking among adolescents. Finally, as a researcher, I am disappointed by the preponderance of data indicating that existing efforts to curb binge drinking among college students are modestly successful, at best."

The data for the study were gathered through the Center for Collegiate Mental Health, which is a network of nearly 200 university counseling centers across the United States, and which is organized and run centrally by an interdisciplinary team of researchers at Penn State, including faculty members and students in Department of Educational Psychology, Counseling and Special Education in the College of Education. The research team at Penn State analyzes data sent from college counseling centers throughout the U.S. and provides useful information back to practitioners in the form of webinars, annual reports, conference presentations and articles.

Explore further: Controlling alcohol habits as students find 'release' may avoid later addiction

Related Stories

Controlling alcohol habits as students find 'release' may avoid later addiction

April 24, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—Current college culture allows for an environment where risks of addiction and alcohol dependency increase while mental health decreases.

School policies reduce student drinking—if they're perceived to be enforced

July 9, 2013
"Just say no" has been many a parent's mantra when it comes to talking to their children about drugs or alcohol. Schools echo that with specific policies against illicit use on school grounds. But do those school policies ...

Parents, religion guard against college drinking

March 5, 2013
Religious college students report less alcohol use than their classmates – and the reason may have to do with how their parents handle stress, according to new research by a Michigan State University scholar.

Curbing college binge drinking: What role do 'alcohol expectancies' play?

April 18, 2012
Researchers at The Miriam Hospital say interventions targeting what college students often see as the pleasurable effects of alcohol – including loosened inhibitions and feeling more bold and outgoing – may be one ...

Binge drinking in college can lead to heart disease later in life

April 23, 2013
Frequent binge drinking in college can cause more than a hangover. Regularly consuming multiple drinks in a short window of time can cause immediate changes in circulation that increase an otherwise healthy young adult's ...

Binge drinking serious problem for US women

January 8, 2013
Binge drinking is an under-recognized problem for US women, nearly 14 million of whom engage in it about three times a month, downing about six drinks each time, says a study released Tuesday.

Recommended for you

Smartphones are bad for some teens, not all

February 21, 2018
Is the next generation better or worse off because of smartphones? The answer is complex and research shows it largely depends on their lives offline.

Lead and other toxic metals found in e-cigarette 'vapors': study

February 21, 2018
Significant amounts of toxic metals, including lead, leak from some e-cigarette heating coils and are present in the aerosols inhaled by users, according to a study from scientists at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public ...

Tackling health problems in the young is crucial for their children's future

February 21, 2018
A child's growth and development is affected by the health and lifestyles of their parents before pregnancy - even going back to adolescence - according to a new study by researchers at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute, ...

Why teens need up to 10 hours' sleep

February 21, 2018
Technology, other distractions and staying up late make is difficult, but researchers say teenagers need to make time for 8-10 hours of sleep a night to optimise their performance and maintain good health and wellbeing.

Electronic health records don't reduce administrative costs

February 21, 2018
The federal government thought that adopting certified electronic health record systems (EHR) would reduce administrative costs for physicians in a variety of specialties. However, a major new study conducted by researchers ...

Low-fat or low-carb? It's a draw, study finds

February 20, 2018
New evidence from a study at the Stanford University School of Medicine might dismay those who have chosen sides in the low-fat versus low-carb diet debate.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.