To Drink or Not To Drink
In the current situation, many young people are frequently involved in violence and crimes. One of the risk factors related to violent behaviors among young people is alcohol consumption. “Numerous studies have shown that alcohol and violent behavior are associated” which means “the risk of being involved in violence increases with alcohol intake” (Bye and Rossow 131). In addition, data indicated that young individuals enrolled in colleges or universities were more likely consume alcohol more frequently compared to those who were not currently enrolled (NSDUH Report 744). Hence, it was inferred that the influence of peers plays an important role in alcohol consumption among college students as part of their social life style.
One of the important aspects in college life that needs to be carefully studied is how college students select the crowd they want to be identified with. “College peer affiliations can be classified by a consistent pattern of traits yielding distinct peer crowd groupings” (Sessa 301). Being new in the university environment, it is important that freshmen college students find their way to develop their sense of belongingness. It is a very critical aspect because their selection of the crowd they want to mingle with can either help or destroy them in the future. University students are usually classified depending on their “unique peer crowds” (Sessa 301). It would be ideal that parents provide proper guidance to their children when selecting their fraternity or sorority in colleges. It is not taking away their freedom, but rather it is providing guidance in order them to make the right decisions.
The frequent use of alcohol among college students is impacted by various mechanisms. Peer pressure is a very common to college students. A lot of college students who drink alcohol reported that they consumed alcohol to feel more accepted by their peers. Students reported that they consume alcohol to “facilitate identity development” within their peer crowd (Sessa 302). Their perceptions of being accepted by the group where they belong to is making sure that they go along with what is acceptable to the group. In regards to the amount of alcohol they consume, students usually consume more alcohol on weekends and school breaks (Bye and Rossow 131). In addition, college students consume alcohol to overcome depression and anxiety. However, college students commented that the risk of being engage in illegal behavior increases as the amount of alcohol they consume increases (Sessa 302).
Most people who drink alcohol, particularly college students, think that consumption of alcohol helps lower their anxiety. On contrary, “several correlation studies have found that as compared to non-problem drinkers, problem-drinking students had higher scores on social-anxiety related measures” (O’Grady, Cullum, Armeli, and Tennen 601). Individuals who consume alcohol drink more during anxiety provoking situations which indicates that the more anxious they are, the more often they will drink. Furthermore, findings indicate “that individuals with low levels of social anxiety display low levels of drinking to cope motivation” and they drink to enhance positive feeling (O’Grady et al. 609). The question is, how long does the feeling of being relieved from anxiety will last? More often, the relief from anxiety last as long as the alcohol is in their system. So, what will happen once they are back in the reality? Are they really free from their anxiety or the anxiety remains if not worsen?
Personal anxiety often results to more serious problems that could involve other people. When the anxiety problems increase the risk of alcohol consumption, most of the time it increase the risk of being involve in situations that might promote violent behavior. There is a possibility that when people with serious anxiety problem are under the influence of alcohol, they are “maybe more prone to attend to threat...
Cited: Bye, Elin K. and Ingeborg Rossow. “The Impact of Drinking Patter on Alcohol-Related Violence among Adolescents: An International Comparative Analysis.” Drug and Alcohol Review 29.1 (2010): 131-37. Print.
DeJong, William, Laura Gomberg-Towvim, And Shari Kessel Schneider. “Support for Alcohol-Control Policies and Enforcement Strategies Among US College Students at 4-Year Institutions.” Journal of American College Health 56.3:231-36. Print.
Durrant, Russil. “Anxiety, Alcohol Use, and Aggression: Untangling the Casual Pathways.” Legal and Criminological Psychology 16.1 (2011): 372-78. Print.
O’Grady, Megan A., Jerry Cullum, Stephen Armeli, and Howard Tennen. “Putting the Relationship between Social Anxiety and Alcohol Use Into Context: A Daily Diary Investigation of Drinking in Response to Embarrassing Events.” Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology 30.6 (2011): 599-615. Print.
Office of Applied Studies. “Underage Alcohol Use among Full-time College Students.” National Survey on Drug Use and Health 31 (2006): 743-745. Print.
Sessa, Frances M. “Peer Crowd in a Commuter College Sample: The Relation between Self-Reported Alcohol Use and Perceived Peer Crowd Norms.” The Journal of Psychology 14.3 (2007): 293-305. Print.
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