Concern By Others And Student Binge Drinking


An extensive study on the "alcohol consumption of college students" was co-authored by Jeff Hayes, professor of counseling psychology in Penn State's College of Education. One of the main findings of this study was that college students who had people in their lives who expressed concern about their drinking behavior were more likely to be concerned about their own drinking behavior.

Unfortunately, the opposite was also an important finding of this study. That is, college students who don't have people in their lives who expressed concern about their drinking behavior were less likely to be concerned about their own drinking behavior.

What is Binge Drinking?

Binge drinking is a form of alcohol abuse that can be defined as follows: a pattern of drinking during which males drink 5 or more alcoholic beverages at one sitting or when females consume 4 or more drinks on one occasion. Binge drinking is extremely dangerous, especially when it leads to alcohol poisoning, which in some instances can be fatal.

While binge drinking is not against the law when adults drink at home, for instance, binge drinking is illegal in all 50 states for anyone who is under the age of 21. This is because all forms of alcohol abuse are illegal for people who are under 21 years of age.

Underage Drinking

When individuals who are younger than 21 drink alcoholic beverages, this is called "underage drinking." Even though all forms of underage drinking are illegal in all 50 states, not all kinds of underage drinking are the same. For instance, sipping an ounce or two of "table" wine by a 15-year-old female is an example of underage drinking that is usually far less dangerous than when a 17-year-old male engages in binge drinking and consumes 7 bottles of beer at one sitting.

Most undergrad college students are between the ages of 17 and 22. This means that many, if not most undergraduate college students are minors. Therefore when binge drinking is a problem at most colleges and universities, we can safely conclude that many of the students who engage in binge drinking are under the age of 21.

Alcohol Related Research

In the world of alcohol abuse and alcoholism, every bit of additional research that helps reduce alcohol-related problems is an important contribution.

The aforementioned study by Jeff Hayes et al. adds a little more relevant information that can be employed in the effort to significantly reduce excessive drinking such as binge drinking, especially by students.

Building on the Research Done by Jeff Hayes and Others

Building on the key finding in research by Jeff Hayes and others, the following can be asserted.

  • True friends express their concern over a friend's binge drinking.

  • Parents need to be able to identify the "signs" of alcohol abuse and alcoholism and need to express their concern when they see their underage sons and daughters engaging in any form of drinking.

  • Perhaps the best individuals to express concern about another person's excessive drinking are friends and family members who have overcome their drinking problems.

  • Drug and alcohol abuse and addiction professionals need to be less "textbook" oriented and more empathetic about the drinking problems of others.

  • Don't forget that many college students who engage in binge drinking are under the age of 21 and in all 50 states, underage drinking is against the law, whether or not the drinkers are in college.


Attention college students who are currently involved in binge drinking. You need to be reminded of the fact that the more alcohol you consume in an abusive manner, the more likely it is that you will become an alcoholic. If this describes you, then you need to be honest with yourself and admit that you have a drinking problem.

Once you have taken this step, either you or your parents need to make it a priority to talk with an alcohol abuse and alcoholism professional about getting alcohol treatment for you as soon as possible.

To view the original source for this article, see concern about binge drinking affects students.