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Social Context of Drinking and Alcohol Problems Among College Students

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Objective : To examine how social contexts of drinking are related to alcohol use disorders, other alcohol-related problems, and depression among college students.

Methods : Logistic regression models controlling for drinking frequency measured the association between social context and problems, among 728 current drinkers.

Results : Drinking for social facilitation was associated with drinking and driving and housing violations. Drinking in the context of motor vehicles was associated with alcohol abuse/ dependence. Drinking in a context of emotional pain was associated with clinical depression.

Conclusions : Alcohol-free programming that fulfills needs for conviviality and addresses early signs of depression might reduce alcohol problems among college students.
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Keywords: alcohol abuse and dependence; college students; impaired driving; mental health; social context

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1 Professor, Department of Public and Community Health, University of Maryland School of Public Health, College Park, MD.

Publication date: 2008-07-01

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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