Date of Award

1997

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Curriculum and Instruction PhD

First Advisor

Raymond J. Ostrander

Second Advisor

William H. Green

Third Advisor

Larry Burton

Abstract

Problem. While the literature indicates that many male undergraduates suffer numerous negative consequences from alcohol usage, little is known about what, if any, consequences female undergraduates experience. Therefore, this study empirically tested if female undergraduates, ages 17-24, who share similar demographics, perceptions, and alcohol use locations as male undergraduates, also share similar alcohol usage patterns, negative consequences, and predictors for both.

Method. Secondary analysis was conducted on 1992 and 1993 United States Department of Education CORE Survey data collected from 345 male and 584 female undergraduates at two Midwestern private liberal arts colleges. Frequency, chi-square (p <.01), and correlational analysis (p<.01) data were used to compare gender usage patterns and negative consequences. Male and female multiple regression predictor models for alcohol usage and negative consequences were created and compared.

Results. Both genders' demographics, perceptions, usage locations, alcohol as the drug of choice, age of first usage, and moderate usage were similar. Females, however, preferred occasional drinking, whereas, males preferred heavy drinking; except in residence halls where both were heavy binge drinkers. Despite their predominately occasional and moderate drinking, females were still similar to men in suffering 15 negative consequences. Inter-correlation r values between the independent variables (demographics, perceptions, use locations) were non-existent or low for both genders. Use location and wanting alcohol on campus had moderate r values with each gender's usage patterns and negative consequences. Male and female predictor models were similar in explaining 17-54% of the usage patterns' variance. As usage increased, so did the number of predictors and the amount of variance explained for males, whereas both remained fairly constant for females. Male and female predictor models contained similar numbers of predictors for 15 of the 19 negative consequences while simultaneously explaining similar percentages of variance for 18 of the 19 negative consequences.

Conclusions. With little exception, females use less alcohol than males but they suffer similar negative consequences. Therefore, male and female undergraduates need similar alcohol intervention and prevention programs. Why female undergraduates experience similar negative consequences as males, while not using as much alcohol, warrants further research.

Subject Area

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

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