Date of Award

1995

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Counseling Psychology, Ph.D.

First Advisor

Lenore S. Brantley

Second Advisor

Nancy J. Carbonell

Third Advisor

Bernard M. Lall

Abstract

Problem. Literature on alcohol abuse among college students suggests that drinking patterns differ according to the expectations that people have about consuming alcohol. These expectations are strongly aligned to the personality traits/characteristics of theconsumer. At Grand Valley State University, alcohol abuse on campus is a great concern. The purpose of this study was to analyze the personalities and needs of some students at the university who have been participants in the Time Out program--a program structured for those who have been involved in alcohol use and have violated the rights of others while under the influence.

Method. Three instruments, a demographic questionnaire, the Michigan Alcohol Screening Test (MAST), and the Edwards Personality Preference Schedule (EPPS), were used to survey 141 students at Grand Valley State University to assess their alcohol risk levels (low, high, or serious, on the MAST) and to identify personality traits (on the EPPS) according to the three groups.

Results. The results from the analysis of the data from the EPPS and the MAST showed that the mean scores of the "serious" alcohol problem group was significantly higher on the variables achievement, order, autonomy and succorance and significantly lower on affiliation, dominance, change, and heterosexuality. The "high" group mean was significantly higher than the norming sample on the variables order and aggression. The "low" group was significantly higher than the other two groups on preference for affiliation. Unusual personality traits were identified in the female group because thevariable aggression was highly significant for the females while it was not significant for the males. The females in this sample showed a higher level of aggression in relation to the female norming group than the sample males showed in relation to the male norming group. More males (53%) were in the serious group than females (23%). Ninety percent of the freshmen in the research population fell in the serious group. The serious group had a greater need for autonomy and scored lower on the variable change. They also appeared to be loners.

Conclusions. As a result of the study the following conclusions were drawn: first, students who consume alcohol appear to have a great need for autonomy. They also find it difficult to make changes; second, female alcohol consumers appear to be more aggressive than male alcohol consumers; third, "high risk" alcohol consumers have been cited to be loners; fourth, as a result of the findings, there is a great need to restructure the Time Out program at Grand Valley State University which will help to cater to theneeds of the students who are participants.

Subject Area

College students--Alcohol use, Youth--Alcohol use

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