Adverse Childhood Experiences and College Drinking Behavior

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Taylor Lawson Cathleen Stough


By Taylor Lawson, psychology

Advisor: Cathleen Stough

Presentation ID: PM_A25

Abstract: Heavy alcohol consumption and alcohol-related problems among college students are significant public health concerns (Roche & Watt, 1999). Adverse childhood experiences (ACES) may be a risk factor for college drinking behavior. The current study examined whether number of ACES related to frequency of drinking episodes and number of drinks consumed per week and per drinking episode among college students. Participants were 43 undergraduate college students (79% female, 83.7% Non-Hispanic White) between ages 18-25 who completed a one-time online survey to meet requirements for an Introduction to Psychology course. Participants completed self-report measures of demographics, alcohol use, and ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences Survey; Murphy, et al., 2014). Spearman correlations were calculated to examine the relation between ACES and frequency of drinking episodes and quantity of alcohol consumed during college. Total number of ACES was not significantly related to frequency of drinking during college (rs = - .11, p = .48), average number of alcoholic drinks consumed per drinking episode (rs < .01 , p = .99), or average number of alcoholic drinks consumed per week (rs = - .13, p = .48). Contrary to the study hypotheses, ACES did not relate to drinking behavior during college. This suggests that other factors may influence drinking behavior during college such as social influences, and transition into adulthood.


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