Alcohol use among college students is often in the news. Some scholars argue, with literature to support it, that problem drinking in college is just a media-driven myth (Lederman et al. 2004). Yet it is clear that college students do drink, some to excess. Various reasons are cited from alcohol availability to the "freedom" associated with this stage of life. However, very few researchers have attempted to determine whether religiosity affects alcohol use among college students. The purpose of this study was to further examine the combined issues of religiosity and alcohol use among college students. Is excessive use of alcohol during this time of life simply an adult transition issue, as Jackson et al. (2005) contend, or is there more to it? Research seems to point to the fact that religiosity plays a role. The primary hypothesis tested was that students who valued religious activities as part of their college experience would use alcohol less, including binge drinking, than those who did not. The second hypothesis tested was that students who valued parties and Greek life would use alcohol and binge more than students who did not. The data set used was constructed by the Harvard School of Public Health and included data from 120 four-year colleges and universities from throughout the United States. The analysis supported the hypothesis that religiosity was a factor in reduced alcohol use by college students. College students who valued religious activities drank less than those who did not. The study also supported the hypothesis that students who valued parties and Greek life drank more. The heaviest drinkers were those who valued parties. These results are highly significant given the size of the sample. No other study that looked at religiosity and alcohol use among college students used a sample this large. These results help us to better understand the negative association between religiosity and alcohol use among college students as well as the positive association between parties and alcohol use. They especially help us to formulate strategies that might be considered to alleviate problem drinking during this stage of life.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Sociology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
King, Deena, "Alcohol Use and Religiosity Among College Students" (2006). Theses and Dissertations. 938.
alcohol use, college students, religion, religiosity, binge drinking, problem drinking, religion, partiers, Greek life, Harvard School of Public Health, valued activities