Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


College students-Alcohol use, Binge drinking, Binge drinking-Prevention, Social norms, Binge drinking motivation, Binge drinking intervention, College


The present study investigated binge drinking culture on college and university campuses, using a purposive sampling plan to explore graduates' perceptions of social factors and motivations that perpetuate binge drinking on college campuses in spite of interventions. One hundred eighty one participants completed an online, anonymous, survey designed to test hypotheses drawn from the literature. Participants were significantly more likely to attribute collegiate binge drinking to social factors other than social norms, and to social motivations. These findings suggest that positive alcohol expectancies may have a strong influence on collegiate binge drinking, and that students most often use binge drinking for "social lubrication," or management of social anxiety. Students binge drink to feel accepted by peers and to feel connected to their communities. Participants were also significantly more likely to report that current binge drinking interventions were somewhat or completely ineffective, and to identify students as the most successful leaders for binge drinking interventions. Consequently, it is recommended that social workers and campus administrators partner with students to decrease binge drinking by developing alternate ways of supporting peer acceptance and social connection on campus.




iv, 73 pages. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2015. Include bibliographical references (pages 58-64)