Risk Behaviors and Drug Use: A Latent Class Analysis of Heavy Episodic Drinking In First-Year College Students
Risk-Taking, Substance Abuse, Drug Utilization, Drinking Behavior, Alcohol Drinking, College Students
Psychology of Addictive Behaviors
Examining individual characteristics may not yield an understanding of the complex array of factors that affect college student alcohol use. Utilizing a latent class analysis, the present study investigated an alcohol and drug use database of first-year college students at 89 U.S. colleges and universities (N = 21,945). These data were collected between December, 2010 and September, 2011. This study identified: (1) classes based on alcohol consumption, alcohol-related behaviors, and past-year use of illegal drugs and nonmedical use of prescriptions medications (NMUPM); (2) demographic covariates of these classes; and (3) differential social norms awareness, perceived harmfulness of illegal drugs and NMUPM, and protective strategies. Four classes were identified: (1) Low Risk Drinking/Low Prevalence Drug Use (Class 1); (2) Lower Intake Drinking/Moderate Prevalence Drug Use (Class 2); (3) Moderate Risk Drinking/Moderate Prevalence Drug Use (Class 3); and (4) High Risk Drinking/High Prevalence Drug Use (Class 4). Classes differed in self-reported typical week drinking, estimated peak blood alcohol content over the past 2 weeks, high-risk alcohol use, negative alcohol-related consequences, driving under the influence or riding with drinking drivers, alcohol-related protective behaviors, and past-year substance use. Of particular interest was the identification of a latent class (Class 2) composed primarily of females with a relatively low alcohol intake, but with a high probability of past-year other substance use. This group reported negative alcohol-related consequences despite their relatively low intake. To our knowledge, this is the first latent class analysis of college student alcohol use that includes a drug use indicator and compares social norms awareness, harmfulness perceptions, and alcohol-related protective behaviors between classes.
Black, R. A.
(2013). Risk Behaviors and Drug Use: A Latent Class Analysis of Heavy Episodic Drinking In First-Year College Students. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 27(4), 974-985.
Available at: http://nsuworks.nova.edu/cps_facarticles/540