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Alcohol Consumption Among College Students: Chief Student Affairs Officers' Perspectives on Evidence-Based Alcohol Consumption Reduction Strategies

David F. Stender, Johnson & Wales University

Abstract

Alcohol consumption among college students can lead to negative consequences for those consuming alcohol as well as for their classmates. The 2002 report from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) Task Force on College Drinking described a `three-in-one' evidence-based approach for alcohol consumption reduction strategies. Despite nearly 15 years of published evidence-based consumption reduction strategies, the rate of binge or high risk drinking has remained constant (Hingson, Zha, & Weitzman, 2009; Wechsler, Lee, Nelson, & Kuo, 2002c). A college's chief student affairs officer is typically tasked to create and implement an institution's alcohol policy (Dowdall, 2013). There is, however, minimal research that explores chief student affairs officers' perspectives about the NIAAA's `three-in-one' approach. ^ This qualitative descriptive study was guided by the following research questions: What are chief student affairs officers' perspectives regarding evidence-based alcohol consumption reduction strategies? How do chief student affairs officers describe the strategies used on their campus to address alcohol consumption? What are the barriers or obstacles to the implementation of evidence-based alcohol consumption reduction strategies? ^ Study participants (N=6) were purposefully selected, comprising college/university chief student affairs officers from a New England state who work at four-year, private, independent institutions that allow alcohol consumption among the legal drinking age population. Chief student affairs officers were interviewed on their respective campuses using a semi-structured interview protocol. As Patton (2002) stated, the benefits of interviewing individuals is to learn their views and perspectives and because of the need for a complex detailed understanding (Creswell, 2007) of this issue. Inductive coding allowed the researcher to discover emerging themes and patterns (Patton, 2002) that described student affair officers' perspectives regarding evidence-based alcohol consumption reduction strategies. ^ Findings emerged as transcripts were cross-case analyzed reflecting the following five themes: college students propensity to consume alcohol, alcohol policy approaches, policy implementation challenges, reduction strategies in use, and perceived effectiveness of strategies. The results may benefit policy makers within government and higher education who continually reexamine higher education alcohol policy with the goal to reduce high risk drinking. ^

Subject Area

Education, Leadership|Psychology, Social|Psychology, Personality|Education, Higher

Recommended Citation

Stender, David F., "Alcohol Consumption Among College Students: Chief Student Affairs Officers' Perspectives on Evidence-Based Alcohol Consumption Reduction Strategies" (2014). Dissertation & Theses Collection. AAI3623999.
http://scholarsarchive.jwu.edu/dissertations/AAI3623999

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