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Being With Friends and the Potential for Binge Drinking During the First College Semester

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In this prospective study, we assess the relationship between being with high school friends during the college transition and binge drinking. Across analyses (n = 489), the presence of high school friends during the college transition was associated with reduced binge drinking at the end of the first college semester among individuals at risk for this behavior because they drank in high school, associated alcohol use with the student role, or engaged in binge drinking at the beginning of the fall term. This is consistent with research linking social integration to behavioral regulation and suggests the presence of high school friends during the college transition serves as a source of social control at a juncture characterized by a reduction in normative constraint. Implications for practitioners seeking to assess new students' risks for binge drinking and to more effectively meet the needs of vulnerable groups are discussed in relation to the study results.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2018

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition is a semiannual refereed journal providing current research on the first college year and other significant student transitions. The primary purpose of the Journal is to disseminate empirical research findings on student transition issues that inform practice in all sectors of postsecondary education, such as explorations into the academic, personal, and social experiences (including outcomes related to success, learning, and development) of students at a range of transition points throughout the college years; transition issues unique to specific populations (e.g., non-traditional, traditional, historically underrepresented students, transfer students, commuters, part-time students); and explorations of faculty development, curriculum, and pedagogical innovations connected to college transitions.
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