Young People Drinking: The Effect of Group Size on Drinking Habits

(1) St. John the Baptist Diocesan High School, West Islip, NY, (2) Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY

This study examined the effect of group size on the drinking habits of young adults. Undergraduate students at Stony Brook University and high school students at St. John the Baptist Diocesan High School were surveyed with seven questions asking how often they drink alcohol and how many people are in their group when they consume alcohol. The hypothesis is that the larger the group size, the more frequently alcohol is consumed. Our results showed that the larger the group size, the more frequently alcohol was consumed in the high school and college populations. Other results showed that males drink alcohol more frequently than females and females drink less on average than males. We show an increase in frequency of alcohol consumption in college students as compared to high school students. This study suggests that intervention strategies should promote socialization in larger groups that is not centered on alcohol use to avoid potentially unhealthy drinking habits in young adults.

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underage drinking