Summer Talks Improve College Freshmen Alcohol Habits
So you want to prevent your soon-to-be college freshman from drinking in college. A Penn State study out this year shows that talking about the realities of underage drinking can help - as long as you do it now.
Parents in the study received handbooks with statistics about college drinking and suggested topics of conversation, including alcohol's effect on the body and why students may choose to drink or abstain. Parents also suggested alternatives to drinking, both for fun and for coping with stress, and shared choices they made about their own drinking habits as teens and as adults. Here are the numbers:
83%The percentage of heavy drinkers in high school who remained heavy drinkers in college. But students in this category whose parents talked with them about drinking before their first year of college fared far better. Compared with their high school peers, they were 20 times more likely to drink less five months into college. (In most cases, that meant restricting their heavy drinking to weekends.)
57%The percentage of high school nondrinkers who were still nondrinkers five months into college. And 45 percent of high school students who were light drinkers - one or two drinks on weekends only - remained so in college. Penn State researchers found that summer conversations made high school nondrinkers and light drinkers slightly more likely to stay in these groups in college, but the results were not as pronounced as in the heavy drinking group.
5 or moreThe number of drinks the average man would need to consume in two hours to constitute a heavy drinking "binge," according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. For women, it's four or more drinks in two hours.
25%The percentage of college students who report having experienced academic consequences of drinking, including missing class, falling behind and receiving lower grades.
Click here to view the original article, written by Kathryn Roethel and published on July 16, 2013.