Study: Going to College May Decrease Chances of Alcohol Abuse

Study: Going to College May Decrease Chances of Alcohol Abuse

April 09, 2013

A new study from Pennsylvania State University finds that going to college does not lead to substance abuse problems later in adulthood, despite the problem of binge drinking. In fact, the study found evidence that attending college may actually decrease the chances of regularly abusing alcohol in adulthood among youth who are less likely to go to college because of factors such as low household income and low maternal education. The study compared cohorts of adults, each composed of individuals with similar substance use patterns, who went to college with cohorts of adults who did not. Using a statistical tool called causal inference, researchers found that adults would be more than six times more likely to engage in problem drinking at age 33 if they did not attend college, compared to if they did attend. "Hypothetically, if we could send everyone in the United States to college, that would be protective overall and would significantly reduce problematic substance use in adulthood," said Stephanie Lanza, research associate professor of health and human development. Funding for the study was provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease.

Study: Going to College May Decrease Chances of Alcohol Abuse
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