Advertisement

COVID-19 pandemic has college kids drinking less, survey suggests

By
HealthDay News
A new survey suggests that college students have cut back on drinking since the beginning of the pandemic. Photo by Free-Photos/Pixabay
A new survey suggests that college students have cut back on drinking since the beginning of the pandemic. Photo by Free-Photos/Pixabay

There's been a large drop in drinking among U.S. college students who went home because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study finds.

It included more than 300 students who were surveyed about two months after pandemic-related campus closures in the spring.

Advertisement

The students were asked about their drinking habits and living arrangements before and after school shutdowns in the spring of 2020: living with peers before and after closure, living with parents before and after closure, or living with peers before closure but with parents after.

Among students who used alcohol, the number of days they drank per week fell from 3.1 to 2.7 for those who moved from living with peers to parents, but rose from 3 to 3.7 for those who remained living with peers, and from 2 to 3.3 for those who remained living with their parents.

RELATED Survey: Young adults in U.S. more lonely, depressed during pandemic

The total number of drinks per week for students who moved home dropped from 13.9 to 8.5, remained about the same -- 10.6 vs. 11 -- among those who continued to live with peers, and rose from 6.7 to 9.4 for those who continued living at home.

The maximum number of drinks in a day decreased from 5.4 to 2.9 among students who moved home, from 4.4 to 3.7 for those who remained with peers, and from 3.5 to 3.2 for those who remained at home, according to the study.

Advertisement

The study was published Wednesday in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

RELATED Study: Nearly one in three U.S. college students smokes pot

Having more parental supervision may not be the only reason why students who moved home are drinking less, according to the researchers.

"Drinking is a social behavior for college students, and without social interaction students are less likely to drink heavily," said lead researcher Helene White, distinguished professor emeritus at Rutgers University's Center of Alcohol & Substance Use Studies in Piscataway, N.J.

"Living with parents may especially interfere with social interaction with peers and thereby be protective against heavy drinking," White said in a journal news release.

RELATED Young adults may not 'age out' of drinking habits

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has more on college drinking.

Copyright 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Latest Headlines