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SPEC ALCOHOL RESEARCH: and Internet and Internet Prevention, Prevention, Alcohol Alcohol Screening, Screening, CI uA Lr rS eE Cn TtI ORN e v...

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How important is it to be personally invested in an idea? Can you sell an idea that you have no stake in? Why or why not? Using one of the resources from the Course Readings(see attachment for reading), provide an example of the author who is communicating in a way that tells a reader that the author is credible and is a trustworthy source.   About 200 words discussion. 




Drinking Over the Lifespan: Focus on College Ages | 103 Drinking Over the Lifespan Focus on College Ages Jennifer E. Merrill, Ph.D., and Kate B. Carey, Ph.D. Many college students drink heavily and experience myriad associated negative consequences. This review suggests that a developmental perspective can facilitate a better understanding of college drinking. Specifically, using an emerging adulthood framework that considers the ongoing role of parents and neurodevelopmental processes can provide insight into why students drink. Most college students drink and tend to drink more and more heavily than their non–college-attending peers. These drinking patterns are affected by environmental and temporal characteristics specific to the college environment, including residential campus living, the academic week, and the academic year. Additional psychosocial factors are of particular relevance to the drinking behavior of college-age people, and include exaggerated peer norms, the development and use of protective behavioral strategies, and mental health considerations. Understanding the unique interaction of person and environment is key to designing prevention/ intervention efforts. Key words: Alcohol use, abuse, and dependence; alcohol use consequences; college drinking; heavy drinking; drinking patterns; college student; young adult; neurodevelopment; risk factors; protective factors; environmental factors; psycho- social factors; peer norms; parental support; college environ- ment; prevention; intervention Approximately 41 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds are enrolled in a postsecondary degree-granting institution (National Center for Education Statistics 2013). As a group, college students, and particularly those at residential colleges (Presley et al. 2002), often drink heavily and expe- rience myriad associated negative consequences. Tis selec- tive review discusses the special characteristics of the college age and environment that put students at risk for hazardous drinking and problems with alcohol. Te following sections describe the developmental context in which such drinking behavior occurs and then briefly characterize the risky drinking behavior of college students and the temporal and environmental risk factors associated with college attendance. Te article then reviews psychosocial predictors of risky drinking that are relevant to this age group and concludes with intervention implications. Developmental Considerations Te developmental context in which drinking behavior occurs in college-aged men and women is unique, and developmental considerations can inform both basic and intervention research with this population. Emerging Adulthood Te sociodevelopmental notion of emerging adulthood is a helpful conceptual framework through which to understand risky drinking during the college years (Arnett 2000, 2005). For emerging adults who attend college, graduating from high school is no longer the entry into adulthood. Rather, these individuals typically delay marriage, parenthood, and a career until completing their education. Arnett describes five dimensions that characterize this developmental stage and that may have implications for alcohol use and misuse. • Identity exploration. During emerging adulthood, when individuals are figuring out their own identity (particu- larly in the domains of love and work), alcohol use may be a part of exploring a wide range of lifestyle options before adopting adult roles and identity. Students may also use alcohol to cope with identity confusion (Schwartz et al. 2010). • Instability. Te college years are associated with frequent residential moves and changes in friends and partners, educational status, and jobs. Alcohol use often is elevated during periods of transition (Schulenberg and Maggs 2002) and perhaps is used for self-medication or to promote social activity (Kuntsche et al. 2005). • Self-focus. Upon college entry, students gain indepen- dence from their family and relative freedom from obligations and commitments to others. Tey make independent decisions, and with weaker social controls from family and other institutions, they experience fewer constraints on risk behaviors. Friends may have the most influence on behavior during this time, and students inclined to use alcohol likely establish friendships that support drinking (Abar and Maggs 2010). • Feeling in-between. Emerging adults may feel neither adolescent nor fully adult, and therefore may feel a sense of responsibility in some domains but not others. For example, they may feel capable of deciding whether or Jennifer E. Merrill, Ph.D., is an assistant professor and Kate B. Carey, Ph.D., is a professor, both at the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies and the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences at Brown University School of Public Health, Providence, Rhode Island. SPECIAL SECTION Drinking Over the Lifespan
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SPECIAL SECTION: Drinking Over the Lifespan not to use alcohol but may not feel they need to conform to adult standards of comportment. Some students may see the college years as a “time out” from adult responsi- bilities (Colby et al. 2009) and give themselves permis- sion to enjoy activities such as risky drinking that will be less acceptable later in adulthood. • Possibilities. Finally, emerging adulthood is a time when people can make dramatic changes in their lives and is characterized by biased optimism. Because college students’ expectations for a positive future are so high, they may not acknowledge that negative consequences related to drinking behavior may occur. The Unique Role of Parents As mentioned above, once emerging adults head to college, they depart from the structure and oversight provided when living with parents. However, parents do still matter during the college years. For example, research finds that higher levels of perceived parental involvement may buffer students from the effects of peers on alcohol use and problems (Wood et al. 2004); parental knowledge of how their college student is spending his or her time may influence choice of friends, which in turn may influence drinking behavior (Abar and Turrisi 2008); and parental permissiveness of drinking predicts increases in alcohol use and consequences over time (Walls et al. 2009). Overall, continued parental involvement and communication may serve to protect against high-risk drinking and prevent harm even at this stage of emerging adulthood (Turrisi and Ray 2010). Neurodevelopmental Factors Affecting Self-Regulation ±e developmental context of college drinking is character- ized not only by psychosocial but also biological factors. A growing body of research reveals that the brain’s frontal lobes do not fully mature until the mid-20s (Johnson et al. 2009). During adolescence, the bottom-up impulsive system that responds to rewards and social/emotional factors matures before the top-down controls of the prefrontal cortex (Casey and Jones 2010). Importantly, these top-down path- ways from the prefrontal cortex help people slow down and consider the long-term outcomes of their behaviors. An imbalance between the impulsive system and the more reflective system may make emerging adults more vulnerable to engaging in addictive behaviors. In addition, some spec- ulate that engaging in behaviors such as substance abuse may strengthen the bottom-up pathways and trigger this imbalance (Bechara 2005). ±us, the observations that late adolescents and emerging adults often choose short-term rewards over long-term goals may reflect the state of their neurocognitive development. In the next section, we summarize descriptive data about college student drinking and its consequences, keeping in mind that it occurs within this developmental context char- acterized by the features of emerging adulthood, a changing but still significant role for parents, and continuing neuro- cognitive development. Alcohol Use and Consequences Among College Students Drinking Behavior National surveys provide valuable data on the drinking habits of college students in the United States. ±ey include the Harvard College Alcohol Study (e.g., Wechsler et al. 2002), the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (e.g., Chen et al. 2004; Dawson et al. 2004), the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration 2014), the Core Institute Project (CORE), and the Monitoring the Future studies (Johnston et al. 2014). White and Hingson (2013) offer a detailed overview of these surveys and their findings; we will provide a brief summary. To start, the majority of college students (approximately 60 percent) report past-month drinking (Johnston et al. 2014; Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration 2014). ±ose who drink tend to drink heavily: more than one-third of college students report heavy episodic drinking at least once in the past 2 weeks, with heavy drinking defined as 4 or more drinks in one sitting for females and 5 or more drinks in one sitting for males (Johnston et al. 2014). In addition, approximately 1 of 5 males (19.9 percent) and 1 of 10 females (8.2 percent) consume twice this binge threshold (White et al. 2006). It is worth noting that patterns of drinking are heterogeneous with multiple trajectories in binge-drinking behavior across the 4 years of college (Schulenberg and Maggs 2002). Negative Consequences Heavy drinking results in negative consequences for both drinking and nondrinking students: • A total of 646,000 physical assaults, 97,000 sexual assaults, 599,000 unintentional injuries, and 1,825 deaths are linked to alcohol use among college students annually (Hingson et al. 2009). • Forty percent of college student drinkers report alcohol- induced memory loss, such as blackouts (White et al. 2002), which is associated with future risk for injury and/or increased drinking (Mundt et al. 2012; Read et al. 2013). • Twenty-one percent of college student drinkers report unplanned sexual activity while drinking, and 10 percent report unprotected sex while drinking (Wechsler et al. 104 | Vol. 38, No. 1 Alcohol Research: Current Reviews
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