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Unformatted text preview: Bingold 1 Brittany Bingold Indiv 102-082 Term Paper March 4, 2008 College Students and Binge Drinking: Conflicting Data’s Affect on Normative Behavior Though sociologists continue to strive for the answers to the ‘whys’ of human nature, no single person or study have managed to find definitive results as to why college students are driven to binge drink. There are several methods of researching binge drinking on a college campus that are contradictory, or seem to offer contrary results. Two better known examples of such studies include Henry Wechsler’s College Alcohol Study and Foss’s BAC survey. A lesser known study by Dr. Karin L. Walton, found that many students’ false perception of their peers drinking habits lead to an over compensation of drinking. In other words, societal norms at the University of North Dakota played a role in setting the ‘appropriate’ drinking amount. In a different study, by Jennifer P. Read, Melissa Beattie, Rebecca Chamberlain, and Jennifer E. Merrill, a study similar to Wechsler’s was conducted, but utilized a far more detailed, personal approach to determining binging levels. The fact of the matter is that no single study can succinctly and accurately determine the intentions or cause of mass human action. The simple truth is that multiple studies working together to form a consensus, could be the answer to such a question. When Wechsler conducted his 1994 Harvard School of Public Health College Alcohol Study (CAS), Wechsler revolutionized a new definition of the classic binge drinker. Wechsler’s (2004) definition constituted binge drinking as: Bingold 2 “ The consumption of a sufficiently large amount of alcohol to place the drinker at increased risk of experiencing alcohol-related problems and to place others at increased risk of experiencing secondhand effects. Binge drinking was measured as the consumption of five or more drinks in a row at least once in the past two weeks for men, and four or more drinks in a row for women” (p.287). Wechsler’s methodology found him targeting a large sample of college students through a mailed survey. There are many positive as well as negative attributes one could associate with his choice of methodology, which will be discussed further on. Foss, on the other hand, preferred direct contact and set about interviewing a large sample of college students attending the University of North Carolina over the course of three years (Foss, Diekman, Goodwin, and Bartley, 2003). In addition to sampling students over a long period of time, Foss also brought breathalyzers into the mix, which added an on-site educational experience for those participating in his study....
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- Spring '08
- Drinking culture, Binge drinking, college students, Henry Wechsler