Does Variability in Stressors Correlate to Increased Likelihood of Binge Drinking in College Students

Author: Maggie Lewis
Major: Psychology
Approved: Spring 2020
Status: In progress

The objective of my Distinction Project will be to determine what factors in an undergraduate’s life impact their coping abilities in regards to binge drinking. An online survey will be administered to the Roanoke College student population. The survey will begin with participants providing general demographic data, then asking for participants to select answers relating to what they are studying, workload, finances, social pressures, home life, and social obligations. Content of questions will then progress to asking students about their coping techniques in the face of adversity, and also their drinking tendencies.

If students enrolled at Roanoke College elect to participate in the study will receive access to a Sona Study. The study will be administered online and anonymously, to avoid the potential of observer bias and/or participants filtering or not answering questions truthfully. Participants will then initially answer how frequently, if at all, they binge drink and what antecedents tend to drive them to this behavior. After selecting whether or not they tend to binge drink and frequency determined, the questions will then turn to determining if the setting an individual is in contributes to their use (EX: “I only drink in social settings”) by using an antecedent-behavior approach.

Questions will aim to define participants levels of stress, coping patterns, and determine if there is any correlation between the above mentioned factors and likelihood to binge drink. Upon completion participants will receive a monetary stipend of ten dollars. I am curious to see if the strain of needing to be more independent compared to years of prior education and a decreased workload pushes individuals to less healthy coping mechanisms.