Volume 8

College Students’ Perceptions of Binge Drinking

Jane Bruce and Diane DeMoura

This study was designed to examine college students’ perceptions of binge drinking. Participants included 180 college student volunteers who read one of three scenarios portraying a party atmosphere with a college student engaging in a different level of drinking in each scenario. The students completed measures assessing their perceptions of the scenario character’s alcohol use, their own alcohol use, problems they have experienced due to alcohol, and their perceptions of their friends’ and family’s alcohol use. Results showed that, compared to men, women anticipated positive outcomes regardless of alcohol consumption and greater sexual outcomes without alcohol consumption. For both men and women, negative outcomes were perceived as greater with higher amounts of alcohol use. Influences and perceptions of binge drinking by college students are discussed.

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