Alcohol abuse is a ubiquitous issue for college students across the United States (U.S.) including Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (NHPI). As compared to their counterparts, NHPI students tend to underutilize university counseling services and have significantly lower retention rates than their White counterparts. Considering that NHPI may be reluctant to go to counseling, their levels of distress and alcohol abuse may have to reach a higher threshold before they seek treatment. This study examined NHPI college students' presenting levels of alcohol abuse both at intake and over time and compared these students to students from other ethnic/racial groups. Data were gathered from the Center for Collegiate Mental Health (CCMH), a practice-research network used by hundreds of college counseling centers across the U.S. Aggregated data from the years 2012-2015 included variables measured by the Standardized Data Set (SDS) and the Counseling Center Assessment of Psychological Symptoms (CCAPS). The data were analyzed using Latent Growth Modeling (LGM) to assess the differences at intake and over time in alcohol abuse and distress across ethnic groups. Results of this study indicated that NHPI college students at college counseling centers had higher levels of alcohol abuse and presenting distress at intake than students from other ethnic/racial groups. However, NHPI did not have significantly different changes in levels of alcohol abuse from session one to session 12 as compared to other students. Implications and directions for further research are also discussed.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Counseling Psychology and Special Education



Date Submitted


Document Type





Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islanders, ethnic differences, racial differences, alcohol abuse, college students, psychotherapy outcomes, latent growth modeling



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Education Commons