Where and with Whom College Students Drank during the COVID-19 Pandemic was Associated with Different Types of Consequences

During the COVID-19 pandemic, college students drinking outside the home or at home alone experienced a wider range of drinking consequences compared to those more frequently drinking at home with others, either in-person or virtually, according to a new study. Drinking at home also carried considerable risk. The findings, published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, suggest that intervention and prevention efforts may be more effectively tailored by considering the contexts in which students are drinking.

Why We Want to Drink, What That Has to Do with Genes, and Why it Matters for Our Alcohol Risk

Motives for drinking — to party, to conform, to cope, or to feel good — are consistent through young adulthood, and genes play a role in how those motives influence alcohol use, a new study of college students suggests. Understanding the mechanisms linking genetic variants to differences in drinking behaviors could present opportunities for predicting individuals’ vulnerability to Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) and intervening to prevent it. Genetic factors are responsible for about 50% of individual risk of AUD. Much of how that heritability functions is unexplained, however. The relationship between genes and drinking behavior is complex, involving thousands of genetic variants that each have small effects. Critical factors known as endophenotypes, or intermediary phenotypes, affect how an individual’s genetic predisposition manifests as a behavioral trait. For the new study in Alcoholism: Clinical & Environmental Research, investigators sought to determine whether drinking motives are o

Five New Studies Examine Eating Behaviors in Teens and Young Adults

The developmental changes and growing independence that characterize adolescence and young adulthood can make these stages of life both exciting and challenging. New studies at NUTRITION 2022 LIVE ONLINE shed light on the eating behaviors and diets of teens and young adults around the world.

Situational Motives: Reasons for Forgoing Drinking or Cannabis Use Among College Students

A study has revealed college students’ reasons for abstaining from alcohol or cannabis, including on days when they had initially planned to use one or both substances. The analysis, reported in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, extends research into the so-called “intention-behavior gap” by being the first study to examine reasons for non-use following an intention to drink or to use cannabis. The findings could inform strategies for alcohol and substance use prevention and intervention on college campuses.

Rutgers Champion of Student Health and Wellness is Retiring

When Melodee Lasky joined Rutgers University 19 years ago, behavioral and mental health services were scattered across the individual colleges with little coordination. Psychiatry and the Alcohol and Other Drug Assistance Program were part of student health, but counseling services were separated and college-affiliated. Lasky, a physician who recognized the connection between physical and emotional wellness, recommended that mental and behavioral health be integrated within the framework of student health. That led to the creation of CAPS – Counseling, Alcohol and Other Drug Assistance Program & Psychiatric Services – a program that helps about 4,500 students each year.

Neurotic college students could benefit from health education

College students are under a lot of stress, even more so lately due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on certain personality types, especially neurotic personalities, college health courses could help students develop a more positive stress mindset, according to research from faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York.

Which College Students Struggle to Accurately Report Their Own Alcohol Use?

How young adults perceive their own drinking habits may distort their self-reported alcohol use, according to a new study in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. The study scrutinizes the accuracy of participants’ self-reported drinking — a frequent component of alcohol research. Self-reports are prone to inaccuracies, especially in recalling past use. To improve accuracy, researchers often incorporate both “real time” self-reports and retrospective assessments. When these two reports diverge, however, the implications for research are not well understood. For this study, investigators assessed how these two types of self-report differ and what factors may predict inaccurate self-reporting. Unraveling these influences has the potential to improve the accuracy of some alcohol research — and, ultimately, better support people experiencing hazardous drinking.

Female college students more affected academically by high alcohol use than men

Female college students appear to be more affected by high alcohol use than men, which may lead to less interest in academics, according to new research including by faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York.

Students Who Up Their Cannabis Use Face Increased Risk of Alcohol Problems

Cannabis use can worsen some consequences of alcohol use among young adult drinkers over time, according to a new study which tracked the frequency of cannabis use and negative drinking outcomes among college students over three years. More than one in five young drinkers use cannabis, often (but not always) at the same time as drinking alcohol. This is a concern because the effects of cannabis might combine with those of alcohol to increase negative outcomes of drinking, such as impaired driving or developing an alcohol use disorder Although previous research has suggested a link between cannabis use and alcohol consequences, there have been few long-term evaluations of the impact of fluctuations in cannabis use on alcohol consequences over time. The latest study, published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, was conducted by researchers in Toronto, Ontario, and Buffalo, New York.

NIH funds Chicago-based study of chronic fatigue syndrome and mono in college age students

Researchers at DePaul University and Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago will examine potential connections between chronic fatigue and mono in college students under a new five-year study funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, one of the National Institutes of Health.