The impact of current residence and high school drinking on alcohol problems among college students.J Stud Alcohol 2002; 63(3):271-9JS
This study examines relationships between type of (current) residence, heavy episodic drinking in high school and alcohol-related problems among college students.
The study participants were respondents in the 1993, 1997 and 1999 Harvard School of Public Health College Alcohol Study (CAS) surveys of students attending 119 4-year U.S. colleges. Based on responses from 6,525 (55.6% female) students in the 1993 CAS, an exploratory factor analysis of the alcohol problem items was specified in a confirmatory factor analysis framework based on a four-factor solution, and related to study variables. The 1993 data were cross-validated with the 1997 and 1999 surveys.
When compared with students living in single-gender dormitories, students living off campus with parents reported lower alcohol-related problem consequences and a higher probability of drinking/driving. Students residing off campus without parents, compared with students in single-gender dorms, reported a higher probability of drinking/driving. Associations between off-campus residence and probabilities for drinking/driving were mediated by frequency of driving. Students living in coed dormitories, when compared with students in single-gender dorms, incurred more problem consequences related to drinking but reported significantly lower probabilities associated with designated driving and drinking/driving. Heavy episodic drinking in high school was related to higher probabilities of problems on all outcome measures.
The presence of direct and independent effects for both heavy drinking prior to college and high-risk environmental factors in collegiate drinking practices support targeted and diverse strategies for prevention activities.