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Public Health Rep. 2017 Jul/Aug;132(4):496-504. doi: 10.1177/0033354917713470. Epub 2017 Jun 22.

Rates and Correlates of Binge Drinking Among College Students With Disabilities, United States, 2013.

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1 University of Memphis, Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Research, Memphis, TN, USA.
2 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA.
3 Department of Special Education and Disability Policy, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA.



Our objective was to provide the first comprehensive picture of alcohol use and binge drinking by US college students with disabilities (SWDs), who represent at least 11% (1.6 million) of the US college student population.


In fall 2013, we used a stratified random sampling technique to identify and recruit 2440 SWDs from 122 US colleges and universities. A total of 1285 (53%) SWDs from 61 (50%) colleges and universities completed a survey of alcohol and other drug use and the use of substances by student peers. We conducted 4 multiple logistic regression analyses to compare binge-drinking and non-binge-drinking SWDs by potential correlates of such use and a final model that included only significant variables.


SWDs aged <21 vs ≥21 (odds ratio [OR] = 0.90; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.82-0.99) who spent more time vs less time socializing (OR = 1.24; 95% CI, 1.11-1.38), who spent less time vs more time studying (OR = -0.89; 95% CI, -0.80 to -0.99), and who used vs did not use marijuana (OR = 1.44; 95% CI, 1.18-1.75) or amphetamines (OR = 1.82; 95% CI, 1.15-2.89) were significantly more likely to binge drink. SWDs who reported using barbiturates were less likely to binge drink than were those who did not use barbiturates (OR = -0.36; 95% CI, -0.21 to -0.61). In the final model, use of amphetamines (OR = 1.74; 95% CI, 1.15-2.65) or marijuana (OR = 1.60; 95% CI, 1.32-1.94) was the highest predictor of binge drinking.


SWDs' reported rates of binge drinking, although high, were not as high as those of nondisabled college students. Nevertheless, prevention efforts should be targeted toward college SWDs.


alcohol use; binge drinking; outcomes; students with disabilities; substance use

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