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Health Psychol. 2003 Nov;22(6):616-26.

Changes in heavy drinking over the third decade of life as a function of collegiate fraternity and sorority involvement: a prospective, multilevel analysis.

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Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.


Although affiliation with a fraternity or sorority is an important risk factor for heavy drinking, recent research indicates that this risk may be limited to the college years. Random coefficient growth modeling was used to track changes in patterns of heavy drinking over the course of 11 years as a function of gender and collegiate Greek involvement (N=318). Overall, greater cumulative exposure to the Greek system led to increased heavy drinking during the college years, particularly among men. Shortly after leaving college, heavy drinking levels dropped markedly and remained low through approximately age 30. Inclusion of peer alcohol use norms in the model reduced the influence of Greek involvement. Implications for models of heavy drinking and health risks are discussed.

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