Conference Paper

Alcohol control policies at four-year colleges in the U.S

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Abstract

Alcohol use and related problems on college campuses are serious public health concerns, and alcohol control policies have been shown to be effective strategies to address these concerns. Several studies have examined the types and prevalence of alcohol policies on college campuses, however most of these studies involved a relatively small number of schools. In this study, we examine alcohol policies among a random sample of 383 four-year colleges across the U.S. Schools were randomly selected from each of four school types: small public, large public, small private, and large private. We interviewed an administrator on each campus (e.g., Vice President of Student Affairs, Dean of Students) about numerous alcohol policies at their school (response rate = 67%). We analyzed types and prevalence of alcohol policies across all schools and also made comparisons between subsets of schools. We found that 30% of colleges completely prohibit alcohol use on campus, and large private schools are significantly less likely than other schools to have a complete alcohol ban. Approximately 75% of each type of school offers student housing that prohibits alcohol use. The majority of schools also prohibit alcohol use at all intercollegiate (67%) and intramural (72%) sporting events. Overall, less than half of the schools prohibit advertising for alcohol beverages in campus newspapers and radio stations; small schools and private schools were significantly more likely to prohibit such advertising than large schools and pubic schools. Additional results and implications for colleges and public health professionals will be discussed.

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