The Impact of Living in Co-ed Resident Halls on Risk-taking Among College Students


behavioral risk factors, binge drinking, college, college health, drug use, resident halls, risk-taking, sexual activity


Objective: Although previous research has suggested that college housing impacts student behavior and outcomes, recent research linking college housing to risk-taking has been limited. In this study, we investigate if patterns of risk behavior differ based on the type of college housing environment students reside in. Participants: This study utilizes 510 college students living in on-campus college housing. Methods: Students were recruited from 5 college sites across the United States. Participants responded to survey items online that measured current risk-taking behaviors such as binge drinking and sexual activity. Results: After controlling for an assortment of demographic and psychological variables, results indicated that students living in co-ed housing were more likely than students living in gender-specific housing to binge drink and consume alcohol, have more permissive sexual attitudes, and have more recent sexual partners. Conclusions: On-campus housing environments impact college student risk behaviors. Implications are discussed in light of the decline of in loco parentis on most college campuses.

Original Publication Citation

Willoughby, B.J.*, & Carroll, J. S.(2009). The Impact of Co-ed Housing on Risk-taking Among College Students. Journal of American College Health, 58 (3), 241-246.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Journal of American College Health




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor