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Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 1995 Feb;19(1):54-61.

High-risk drinking across the transition from high school to college.

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Department of Psychology, University of Washington, Seattle 98195, USA.


Alcohol use and related problems were studied from the senior year in high school to the first autumn in college for 366 heavy drinking students. Four risk factors-subject sex, family history of drinking problems, prior conduct problems, and type of college residence-were evaluated as predictors of: (1) differential changes in drinking rates, (2) differential changes in alcohol-related problems, and (3) alcohol dependence symptoms during the first college term. Results suggest that both dispositional and environmental factors are associated with changes in drinking rates and the existence of dependence symptoms. Increases in the frequency of drinking were specifically and strongly associated with residence in a fraternity (men) or sorority (women). Three risk factors were associated with increased quantity of drinking: male gender, residence in a fraternity or sorority, and a history of conduct problems. Prior conduct problems were also consistently associated with dependence symptoms during the first term in college. A family history of alcohol problems was not consistently related to changes in use rates or problems, although some analyses suggest interactive effects. Early interventions on college campuses should target individuals using additive risk profiles.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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