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National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition

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First-Semester College Students' Perceptions of and Expectations for Involvement in the College Drinking Culture


Author(s): Olmstead, R., Anders, K., Clemmons, D., & Davis, K.

Citation: Olmstead, R., Anders, K., Clemmons, D., & Davis, K. (2019). First-Semester College Students' Perceptions of and Expectations for Involvement in the College Drinking Culture. Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition, 31(1), 51-67.

 

Abstract

The transition to college includes exposure to new cultures, such as the college drinking culture, which is likely to be encountered within the first few weeks. We conducted a qualitative content analysis of 242 first-semester undergraduate students’ written comments to open-ended questions about their perceptions of and expectations for involvement in the college drinking culture. Four groups emerged from our analyses: Non-Endorsers, Autonomous Drinkers, Have Bought In, and Law Abiders. A greater proportion of men than women were in the Have Bought In group. Groups were found to vary in their self-reported binge-drinking experiences, which was greater for the Have Bought In group compared to all other groups. In addition, the Autonomous Drinkers group had more binge-drinking experiences than the Non-Endorsers and Law Abiders groups. Findings are discussed in terms of implications for alcohol-related intervention for transitioning students.

 

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