Frequency of Binge Drinking and the Perception of Peer Alcohol Use Among Post-Secondary Students: A Survey of University Students in a Western Canadian Province

  • Author / Creator
    Lee, Michael J
  • Problematic alcohol use, including binge drinking, is a highly prevalent but widely unaddressed public health issue in North America. Binge drinking is especially problematic for young adults in college and university because their rates of binge drinking are considerably higher in comparison to their non-college and non-university young adult peers. High alcohol consumption and binge drinking is normalized throughout college and university and there are gross misperceptions of perceived alcohol use among peers. Few studies have examined the extent of the problem within Canadian colleges and universities. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the differences among students self-reported frequency of binge drinking over the past two weeks and compare their perceptions of peer alcohol use and examine the predictive qualities of these variables. Using data collected with the American College Health Association's National College Health Assessment II survey instrument at the University of Alberta, I found there were differences in perceived alcohol use among students based on frequency of binge drinking and that students who binge drink have higher perceptions of perceived peer alcohol use. Variables that predicted alcohol consumption included being of white race/ethnicity, concurrent substance use, and being involved in intramural sports, while variables that predicted perception of peer alcohol use included being a binge drinker and being involved in varsity sports. The findings from this study suggest that students who binge drink have higher perceptions of peer alcohol use, and greater misperceptions of peer alcohol use that, in turn, could play a role in increasing alcohol consumption within this group. For nurses, public health professionals, and university/college administrators, my findings bring attention towards problem drinking within Canadian colleges and universities, opens the possibility of using the perception of peer alcohol use as a screening tool to identify at-risk students, and supports changes in college and university policy to promote the moderation of alcohol use.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2018
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Nursing
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.