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First-Semester College Students' Perceptions of and Expectations for Involvement in the College Drinking Culture

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The transition to college includes exposure to new cultures, such as the college drinking culture, which is likely to be encountered within the first few weeks. We conducted a qualitative content analysis of 242 firstsemester undergraduate students' written comments to openended questions about their perceptions of and expectations for involvement in the college drinking culture. Four groups emerged from our analyses: NonEndorsers, Autonomous Drinkers, Have Bought In, and Law Abiders. A greater proportion of men than women were in the Have Bought In group. Groups were found to vary in their selfreported bingedrinking experiences, which was greater for the Have Bought In group compared to all other groups. In addition, the Autonomous Drinkers group had more bingedrinking experiences than the NonEndorsers and Law Abiders groups. Findings are discussed in terms of implications for alcohol-related intervention for transitioning students.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2019

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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