Alcohol Use and Related Risk Behaviors Among College Students and Military Personnel
Lyle, Sarah Brice
Type of Degreethesis
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To date, no published studies have been conducted examining alcohol use specifically among military veterans who are attending college. Studies on whether interventions designed for either veterans or college students are effective in identifying and treating problematic alcohol use for these individuals are also lacking. In order to begin to address this gap in the literature, we conducted analyses of alcohol use among individuals who are both military veterans and college students. We expected our results would support the findings of earlier studies conducted on samples of college students and military personnel separately, with both groups demonstrating higher rates of overall alcohol consumption, problematic alcohol use and related risky behaviors. The results of the present study supported this hypothesis. We also hypothesized that college student and military status would interact such that inclusion in both groups would further increase the risk. Evidence was not found supporting higher levels of use or risky behaviors for military students (i.e., college students with a history of military service) above and beyond their peers (e.g., those with only military service or college enrollment, or neither, but not both). This finding should be interpreted with a measure of caution as this does not mean that there was not problematic alcohol use or engagement in alcohol-related risky behaviors within military students. These results have the potential to inform prevention and intervention efforts aimed at reducing risky alcohol use among college students with a military background.