• Article

Characterization of drinking among college freshman enrolled in a drinking reduction study

Heavy episodic or ‘binge’ drinking among college students continues to be a problem despite efforts on the part of college administrators and community activists to educate and enforce underage drinking policies. Even though police are more vigilant about drinking and driving and many colleges provide courses detailing the consequences of alcohol abuse, many

students still view drinking as a normal part of the college experience. The preliminary data presented herein provides baseline information on 84 freshmen (74.1% F, 78.8% white, mean age 18.39 (+ 0.5)) enrolled in a NIAAA-funded project aimed at determining whether Motivational Interviewing will impact students ’ awareness of the problems associated with drinking. Participants completed a comprehensive battery of questionnaires that included the SOCRATES, Self-Regulation Questionnaire, Impulsivity Inventory, CAGE, Young Adult Alcohol Problems Screening Test (YAAPST), and an assessment of students - knowledge of drinking

rules and regulations as well as a 30-day TLFB. Number of days of drinking to intoxication was predicted by drinking onset age (p < .005), total CAGE score (p < .037), and total YAAPST score (p < .001) in separate regression analyses. The most commonly endorsed locations for drinking were in an apartment or house off campus (84.5%), clubs off campus (53.0%) and

residence halls (56.0%). Students reported that it was very easy to obtain fake ID cards and that enforcement of alcohol regulations by campus and community police was fairly high. There were modest to moderate correlations between drinking variables (e.g., days drank/past 30

days, days binge drinking/past 30 days, days drank to intoxication/past 30 days) and individual items on the Impulsivity Inventory, SOCRATES, and YAAPST. These data provide a thorough ‘snapshot’ of drinking, thoughts about drinking-related behaviors, and awareness of drinking

policies among a sample of freshman students in a rural east coast college. Such information may be useful for understanding why excessive drinking still persists among underage college students.


Flannery, B., & Brown, J. (2007). Characterization of drinking among college freshman enrolled in a drinking reduction study. Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, 31(s2), P664.