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University students' drinking patterns and problems: examining the effects of raising the purchase age.
  • Published Date:
    1988 Nov-Dec
  • Source:
    Public Health Rep. 103(6):667-673
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-1.57 MB]

  • Alternative Title:
    Public Health Rep
  • Description:
    An extensive review of the literature on college students' drinking patterns and problems since the mid-1930s revealed no radical changes over the past several decades. However, during the past 10 years, drinking and problems related to drinking and driving have gradually decreased among college students. Results of a study of students at the same 56 colleges and universities throughout the United States (3,145 in 1982-83, 2,797 in 1984-85, and 3,375 in 1987-88) revealed few changes in collegiate drinking patterns and problems attributable to the nationwide increase in the minimum age for alcohol purchase. There was a decline in the proportion of students who drank in the period during which the law changed. However, the proportion of students categorized as heavy drinkers remained constant over time and the proportion of underage students (81 percent) who drank was higher than the proportion of legal age students who drank (75 percent). Of 17 problems related to drinking, all but 5 remained stable over the time periods. Three of the problems represent the continuum of an established trend of fewer students to indicating drinking and driving-related problems. As discussed in this paper, creative alcohol programming can assist in controlling alcohol abuse among college students.
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