University of Minnesota Duluth Skip to Content Search | People | Departments | Events | News
College of Liberal Arts
Center for Social Research
UMD College of Liberal Arts - Center for Addiction Studies - Characteristics of St. Scholastica Female Alcohol Consumption: Differences in Drinking Quantities Heavier and Lighter than the Mean

Characteristics of St. Scholastica Female Alcohol Consumption: Differences in Drinking Quantities Heavier and Lighter than the Mean

 

Terry R. Warness
Rebecca E. Johnson
Center for Addiction Studies
University of Minnesota Duluth

Faculty Research Supervisor:
J. Clark Laundergan, PhD

Research Funding:
The Miller-Dwan Foundation

December 2005

 

Executive Summary

This study examines alcohol consumption characteristics among 434 female students at the College of St. Scholastica who took part in the National College Health Assessment (NCHA) survey in the spring of 2005. The purpose is to describe characteristics of alcohol consumption and consumers among St. Scholastica’s female student population.

Females were broken into three categories based on their responses to question number thirteen (13) “The last time you partied/socialized, how many alcoholic drinks did you have?” The mean number of drinks for females who did use alcohol was 4.44. Categories of females were then identified as “below the mean” drinkers, having consumed less than 4 drinks on their last drinking occasion (N=142), and as “at or above the mean” drinkers, having consumed 4 or more drinks on their last drinking occasion (N=183). A third group of was identified as “nondrinkers,” having not consumed any alcohol on their last partying occasion (N=109). The three groups’ answers to other questions were then compared to explore and explain health and lifestyle differences between the three groups.

Substantial findings in this report are:

Differences in quantities of alcohol consumption are clearly related to the health and lifestyles of females at St. Scholastica. The heaviest drinkers are the most likely to experience negative consequences in their health and weight perception, mental and physical health, and academic performance. They are the most involved in risk taking activities such as drug use and sexual encounters, despite being well informed on health issues and heavily involved in contraceptive practices in relation to the other drinking categories. With an understanding of trends such as these the importance of programs aimed at harm-reduction in alcohol consumption among college students is highlighted.