Differential prevalence of alcohol use among 2-year and 4-year college students.
PURPOSE: To determine whether alcohol use behaviors and alcohol-related consequences differed among students attending two-year versus four-year colleges. METHODS: Participants (N=13,700) from 7 two-year and 11 four-year colleges completed the 2010 College Student Health Survey. Alcohol use behaviors included past year alcohol use, past month alcohol use, and binge drinking over the past two weeks. Alcohol-related factors included average calculated blood alcohol level and average number of alcohol-related consequences. Cross-sectional mixed-effects regression analyses were conducted to determine if the prevalence of alcohol-related behaviors and consequences differed among two-year and four-year students. RESULTS: Students attending four-year colleges, particularly males, were more likely to report past year alcohol use, past month alcohol use, and binge drinking, as well as a higher average blood alcohol content and a greater number of alcohol-related consequences than their two-year counterparts (p<0.05). Among female students there were fewer differences between two-year and four-year college students. Many differences remained after adjusting for socio-demographic factors (e.g., age, race/ethnicity), however, with the addition of living situation as a covariate, several of the differences among males were no longer significant. CONCLUSIONS: Significant differences in alcohol-related behaviors and consequences exist among students attending two-year versus four-year colleges. While the prevalence of alcohol-related behaviors and consequences was lower among two-year college students, they are not a population to be over-looked. The prevalence of alcohol use remains high among both two-year and four-year college students, making it important for researchers to design appropriate interventions for all students regardless of the type of institution being attended.
Velazquez, CE; Pasch, KE; Laska, MN; Lust, K; Story, M; Ehlinger, EP
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