Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter August 5, 2008

First Year Students' Views on Changing Their Campus Alcohol Culture

Janet Reis and William L Riley

A survey on campus culture and alcohol use was completed by 1,864 first-year students in their first semester of enrollment at a large public Midwest university. Twenty-four percent of these students agreed that students can do nothing about alcohol abuse as part of campus culture, as opposed to 46% disagreeing with this statement and 24% standing neutral on the question. As compared to the students believing nothing can be done, students in the “alcohol culture can be changed” group drank less and reported higher levels of self-efficacy in their own use of alcohol. The students asserting “change in alcohol culture is not possible” agreed that the university had a reputation as a party school and reported more tolerance of intoxicated behavior. The contrasting profiles of these two groups of students suggest that there is a broader view of alcohol use, student responsibility, and definitions of culture than is sometimes recognized. Implications for campus-sponsored educational programming are discussed in terms of adolescent development and social networking.

Published Online: 2008-8-5

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