EARLY INTERVENTION KEY TO SHAPING COLLEGE DRINKING HABITS

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Screen Shot 2012-01-31 at 9.27.22 AM.pngBy: Janice Wood

The first few weeks of college are a critical time in shaping students’ drinking habits, according to researchers at Penn State, who say early intervention may help keep students from becoming heavy drinkers.

“Research shows there is a spike in alcohol-related consequences that occur in the first few weeks of the semester, especially with college freshmen,” said Michael J. Cleveland, research associate at the university’s Prevention Research Center and the Methodology Center.

“If you can safely navigate through that passage, you reduce the risk of later problems occurring.”

The researchers tested two methods of intervention on freshmen — parent-based intervention and peer-based intervention. They found that students who were non-drinkers before starting college, and who received the parent-based intervention, were unlikely to become heavy drinkers when surveyed again during the fall semester of their first year.

Students who were heavy drinkers during the summer before college were more likely to transition out of that group if they received either parent-based intervention or peer-based intervention.

Continue Reading: psychcentral.com

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