Evaluation of Environmental Strategies for Preventing Alcohol Problems on United States College Campuses
Smart, Mieka Jasmine
MetadataShow full item record
Objectives: The specific aims of this investigation were 1) to identify school-level characteristics correlated with alcohol and other drug (AOD)-related law violations among college students; 2) to determine whether limiting alcohol sales to six days per week is associated with alcohol consumption, binging, and alcohol-related law violations among college students; and 3) to assess whether the impact of alcohol tax increases on college alcohol-related disciplinary actions are moderated by school-level characteristics. Methods: In Aim 1, negative binomial regression analyses were used to estimate the relationship between characteristics of Maryland colleges and AOD-related law violations on those campuses. In Aim 2, linear and negative binomial regression analyses were used to estimate relationships between alcohol-related outcomes and three different interpretations of Sunday sales ban legislation. In Aim 3, interrupted time series methods and negative binomial regression analyses were used to estimate the relationship between the 2011 Maryland alcohol tax increase and alcohol-related disciplinary actions on Maryland college campuses, and to explore whether characteristics of those campuses affect said relationship. Results: AOD-related law violations in Maryland postsecondary institutions were predicted by several of the explored characteristics, especially by campus housing (IRR=328.5; p=<.001). Sunday sales bans on spirits may be modestly associated with increased consumption among drinking students (β= -.4; p=.028), and disciplinary actions on public property (IRR= .4; p=.044). For Aim 3, negative binomial analyses showed that with each year that passed after the tax, alcohol-related disciplinary actions on college campuses decreased by a factor of .91 (p=.050). Discussion: State-level environmental strategies for preventing alcohol problems may be effective among U.S. college students. There was counterintuitive evidence of increased consumption and alcohol-related disciplinary actions in this state-level analysis of Sunday sales bans. Further analyses at the municipal-level are warranted. There was evidence that the interaction between tax and time was associated with decreased alcohol-related disciplinary actions on college campuses. There was also evidence that school price affected the strength of the association. More deliberate investigation is warranted to examine whether school price is a proxy for student financial resources or for school financial resources.