College Drinking: Reframing a Social Problem

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Drinking has become recognized as one of the most important problems facing today's college student. Even though college drinking has increased only modestly over the past few decades, concern about its health, behavioral, and safety consequences has risen rapidly. This book examines college drinking as a social problem within higher education, based on interviews with many leading figures engaged in addressing the problem. It assesses the evidence about how many students drink or drink excessively, and what kinds of behavioral and health problems they have as a consequence. The book answers the crucial questions of why students drink and what mixture of personal and environmental factors shape college drinking. The complex links to campus crime and sexual assault are discussed fully. Key practical questions about effective prevention programs and countermeasures are answered in detail. Students and parents can take action to lower the risk of binge drinking by consulting an appendix, which explains how to use college guide data on 400 leading institutions or data about alcohol violations and crime available for several thousand colleges. Anyone concerned with higher education today will find a full discussion of the scope of the problem and what can be done about it.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is probably the best introduction to college drinking available. . . Recommended. All levels/libraries."



"In comparison to the other recent books on the topic, Dowdall's book is more broad based, yet also more comprehensive, and utilizes a wider range of scientific and professional resources, and provides more evidence-based suggestions for change to a wider audience. If there is a book that can reach all intended audiences (college administrators, governmental policy makers, practitioners, scientists, parents, and students), Dowdall's book seems to do it. Readers of varied backgrounds should all come away with useful information and suggestions for changes."


The Journal of Higher Education

"Dowdall has provided the reader with an excellent instrument for not only understanding the complexities of college drinking, but also how to develop prevention programs to address this complex social problem."


Journal of College Student Development

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275999810
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/30/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

GEORGE W. DOWDALL is Professor of Sociology at Saint Joseph's University. He also has been a regular faculty member at Indiana University and Buffalo State and has held visiting appointments at UCLA, Penn, Brown, and Harvard. His publications include The Eclipse of the State Mental Hospital, Adventures in Criminal Justice Research, and journal articles on college drinking including one commissioned by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alchoholism's Task Force on College Drinking. He serves on the Pennsylvania Advisory Council on Drug and Alcohol Abuse and the Board of Directors of Security on Campus, Inc.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 College Drinking as a Social Problem 1

Ch. 2 Reframing College Drinking 19

Ch. 3 The Impact of College Drinking 39

Ch. 4 The "Dark Figure" of Alcohol-Related Campus Crime: The Gap Between Reported Incidents and Victimization 61

Ch. 5 Work Hard, Play Hard: College Drinking, Social Life, and Sex 81

Ch. 6 Public Alcohol Policy and College Drinking 103

Ch. 7 The College Response: Reframing Prevention 125

Ch. 8 What More Can Colleges Do? 151

Ch. 9 How to Cope with College Drinking: What Students and Parents Can Do 173

Appendix A Sources for Further Information 197

Appendix B Methods and Data 207

Appendix C Timeline of Important Events Shaping College Drinking 211

Appendix D Alcohol and Crime Data for Selected Colleges and Institutions 215

References 247

Index 261

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