Volume 9

Female Undergraduates’ Perception of Alcohol Use on College Campuses

Lindsey Deardorff, Autumn-Ann Bolduc, and Sarah Levasseur

With the beginning of the millennium, binge drinking continues to be widespread among American college students. Alcohol is the primary choice of leisure drugs among college students. The perceptions of alcohol use by college students may not accurately reflect the actual drinking behaviors and consequences faced by college students. The purpose of our study is to further clarify the perceptions that college women hold for their older, younger, and same aged peers with respect to drinking behaviors. Participants included 240 female college students who read a scenario depicting a student who either drank heavily or very little. The scenario characters were presented as freshmen or seniors, and male or female. First, the students completed measures assessing their perceptions of the scenarios. Next, they provided demographics, measures of their own substance use, risky behavior, and academic achievement to establish if their drinking behaviors were linked to academics, risky behavior and drug use to compare the characteristics of women who consume a lot and women who consume a little. Preliminary results suggested that college women hold negative views of their peers who drink heavily. Findings for gender and class status were non-significant. Further analyses will investigate participants drinking and risk taking behaviors.

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